NATO and the West have caused “irreparable damage” in Libya, said Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, speaking in Tehran at the International Islamic Awakening Conference.
“If the U.S. and NATO had not interfered militarily, the people would have triumphed perhaps later,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “But at least all the infrastructure of the country would not have been destroyed and all these innocent women and children would not have been killed.”
The Iranian leader added: “Enemies, who for years collaborated and colluded with Gaddafi, would not have had the chance to interfere in this oppressed and war-beaten country.”
For years, the U.S. and the West shunned Gaddafi’s regime and imposed sanctions on it for being a supporter of terrorism; however, in more recent years, after Libya halted its weapons construction program and paid damages to the victims of terrorism, Gaddafi was once again accepted into the fold and was on better terms with Western leaders.
Khamenei went on to say: “What has gathered us here is the Islamic awakening; that is, the state of arousal and consciousness in the Islamic people that is creating a great evolution in the peoples of the region, creating uprisings and revolutions that could never fit in the calculations of the regional and international demons that are in control.”
The International Islamic Awakening Conference is organized by the Iranian government and is attended by various Iranian officials and regional “elites”.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that the West is hard at work around the regional uprisings, trying to bring the players it has championed into power to “preserve the system and the main levers of power and merely to put another head on the same body.”
He also warned against “secular and liberal models of the West and the ultra-nationalist or Marxist approaches.”
He said that with the fall of communism, the Balkan and Caucasus region “was freed from the talons of the USSR after 80 years. Why shouldn’t we believe that oppressed Palestine could be saved from the Zionist chains after 70 years?”