Khameini says West surprised by Mideast upheavals

Iran supreme leader: Islamic awakening is irreversible; Khameini reiterates his right to veto Ahmadinejad decisions.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni said on Saturday that the recent events in the Middle East caught Israel, Europe, and the United States by surprise, Army Radio reported. Speaking at his state address before hundreds of citizens, Khameini said that "The efforts of all these countries were concentrated in attempts to exert regional control, but this Islamic awakening is irreversible."
Later in speech, Khameni accused Western countries of acting in the Middle East according to Israeli interest, Army Radio said. He added that the Islamic Republic "did not watch the upheavals in the Middle East indifferently," adding that Iran's unwavering position, described by him as "firm and just," has incited "propaganda against the state" from Western countries.
Ahmadinejad heralds 'new era' for Iran
Khameini: We won't give in to pressure During his speech, Iran's supreme leader also stressed his constitutional right to veto any of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decisions that threaten national interests, DPA reported.
Khameni's remarks came a week after he vetoed Ahmadinejad's decision to replace Iran's intelligence chief, Heidar Moslehi. According to the Iranian constitution, Khameini has the final say on all state affairs.
Moslehi was forced to resign last week after reported disputes broke out between him and the Iranian president with Ahmadinjead promptly accepting his resignation. Khameni, however, ordered he remain in the government.
Signaling rising tensions between the two Iranian leaders, Ahmadinejad has reportedly refused to heed the order and did not invite Moslehi to the last cabinet meeting, the Associate Press reported.
According to the Iranian constitution, the supreme leader has the right to appoint and dismiss members of the Iranian government, including the president.