Iran will respond to any attack at ‘same level’ - Ayatollah Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Iran will respond to any military attack by the U.S. or the Zionist regime with the "same level" of power, MNA reported.
"We do not have nuclear weapons, and we do not intend to produce them. But in the face of aggression, either by the U.S. or Israel, we will attack them at the same level that they attack us," the Leader told tens of thousands of people at the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad on the first day of the new Iranian calendar year.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the Western powers' extreme pressure on the Islamic Republic is not due to Tehran's nuclear program, but rather it is because Iran is "standing against them like a lion."
The Leader added that the arrogant powers have "acknowledged" that Iran is not seeking to produce nuclear weapons, but all the sanctions are mainly meant to bring Iran, as a unique country in terms of oil and gas riches, under their control.
"If Iran was ready to surrender to them like certain countries in the region, they would not have any hostility toward Iran," he noted.
It is only Iran that has the fourth largest oil reserves and the second largest gas reserves in the world and the West wants such a country to be easily at its control and Iran's nuclear program is just a pretext, the Leader explained.
Ayatollah Khamenei went on to say that oil riches in many countries will be exhausted in the near future and the capitalist world is very worried about this, and therefore it has intensified pressure on Iran under the illusion that Iran, with such abundant energy resources, will fall in their arms.
He stated that Western governments are also keeping their people in dark about the "catastrophe" that is awaiting them in regard to energy depletion.
He added that the United States and other Western powers are mistaken if they imagine that they can force Iran to submit to their pressure and called on them to treat Iranian people "respectfully."