Khamenei Rep: US-Iran War Due to ‘Conflict of Beliefs’

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The Supreme Leader’s representative to Sepah [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] said, “A soft war comes from the conflict of beliefs, and our war today with America also comes from this conflict of beliefs, and in this war all of Islam stands against all of the unbelievers.”

Hojat al-Islam Ali Saeedi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to Sepah, warned that “when the enemy cannot move forward with a soft war, they will start a hard war.” He made these statements in the eastern city of Mashhad yesterday.

The term “soft war” is often referred to as a cultural war that many Iranian officials believe the US and the West are waging against Iran to change the identity and tastes of its public, so that it becomes more friendly to the West and, in their eyes, less Islamic.

Saeedi framed Iran’s standing in the Islamic world this way: “The Islamic Republic of Iran is holding the banner of Islam and it is standing against two imperfect forms of Islam.” The first Islam he described as one “that has taken the shape of al-Qaeda, which has been promoted from the Salafi-Wahabi Arab countries [in the Persian Gulf].” The second “imperfect Islam” that Saeedi believes Iran stands against is from the Western, “secularized Islam, such as one that is present in Turkey.”

Saeedi stressed the importance of having Islamic role models from the early days of Islam to combat the soft war. He added that once a person is able to develop themselves, the next step is to “form a nation and a government […] that is unified, which all the prophets did.” Saeedi believes that “during our time, this is exactly what Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did with the Islamic Revolution [of 1979].”

Sanctions Have Affected Economy ‘20%-30%’

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The deputy speaker of the Parliament said the “effect of sanctions on the economic situation has been about 20% to 30%, and the rest has been due to problems stemming from domestic decision making.”

Mohammad Reza Bahonar said today to Mehr News Agency, “Unfortunately, we had some serious spikes in prices and the factors leading to that are diverse and varied.” The factors that Bahonar mentioned were “the procedure of the cash [subsidy] payments, the implementation of the targeted subsidies and the housing projects.”

Bahonar added that due to the targeted subsidies, many factories are either on the threshold of not being operational or “have even ceased operations.” He added, “In total, we were not successful last year in realizing our yearly slogan.” Last year, the national slogan for Iran was “The Year of National Production.” This year, the slogan is “The Year of Epic Politics and Epic Economics.”

The deputy speaker ended his comments with criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his administration’s lack of ability to manage Iran’s economic crisis last year. He said that although “they tried hard and in certain aspects their performance was good and they were able to circle around the sanctions, on issues that should have been foreseen and when they should have acted much earlier, they didn’t, and it looks like they didn’t do enough.”