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MEMRI: Reactions In Iran To President Trump's Cancelled Retaliatory Strike

MEMRI: Reactions In Iran To President Trump's Cancelled Retaliatory Strike

June 27, 2019 Special Dispatch No.8145

Reactions In Iran To President Trump's Cancelled Retaliatory Strike
Iranian President Rohani: 'The White House Suffers From Mental Retardation';
'Kayhan': Drone's Downing Was 'A Stinging Iranian Slap In The Face To
America'; While 'The American Army Was Humiliated, Trump [Only] Bombarded
Iran With Tweets!'; 'Now, Saudi Arabia And The UAE... Will Get Their Share'

Overall, the reactions by Iranian regime officials and mouthpieces to the
June 20 downing of the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk drone reflected pride,
depicting it as a legal and immediate reaction to an American invasion of
Iranian airspace. Iranian armed forces naval commander Hossein Khanzadi even
said that this "teeth-shattering action... is likely to be repeated in a
row, and the enemy is aware of this."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani mocked president Trump and his
administration, saying that the White House "suffers from mental
retardation."[1] Additionally, the regime mouthpiece Kayhan referred to the
U.S. "clown administration," calling U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
himself a "clown," and stated that Trump dared not attack Iran because if he
did he could "kiss a second [presidential] term goodbye."

View President Rohani's statements on MEMRI TV here or below:

The Trump administration's announcement of sanctions against Iranian Supreme
Leader Ali Khamenei personally in response to the downing of the drone
enraged Iranian officials. President Rohani called it proof that "a
particular person" i.e. Trump had "lost his senses and done something
impudent." Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted, on June 24,
that this move had eradicated the option of negotiations.[2]

Additionally, in a June 22, 2019 Friday sermon in Bandar Abbas, Iranian
Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi, Supreme Leader Khamenei's representative in
Hormozgan province, said that it had been a "pleasure" to hear that the
"accursed" American drone had exploded, adding, "May Trump himself explode
soon. We would be even happier." The worshipers, encouraged by Naeimabadi,
chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

View Iranian Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi's statements on MEMRI TV here or

The following are the main reactions :

Iranian President Rohani, June 25: "The White House Suffers From Mental
Retardation And Has No Idea What It Is Doing... I Kiss The Hands Of Those In
The Defense Ministry Who Created This [Air Defense] Industry, And The Hands
Of Those In The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC], Who Used It So

At a June 25, 2019 meeting with senior medical center officials, Iranian
President Hassan Rohani said: "Lately, the Americans are confused, and doing
strange things unprecedented in the political world. They are mentally
handicapped. The White House suffers from mental retardation, and has no
idea what it is doing.

"As for the destruction... of this drone, intercepted by a completely
Iranian [defense] system... this action was highly valuable. Had the drone
had been shot down by a system such as the Russian S-300, it would not have
had such importance, but this system, with missiles and radar, is made in
Iran, and I kiss the hands of those in the Defense Ministry who created this
[air defense] industry, and the hands of those in the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps [IRGC], who used it so efficiently.

"We have no desire to shame America, but this action greatly boosted the
morale of the Iranian people, and proved that we have the capability
required to confront the enemy's' threats... An aggressor in our airspace
will be destroyed within minutes. This demonstrates our strength... The
country's borders are our red lines... and we are entitled to self-defense.
The Americans, including the Pentagon, CENTCOM, and the White House, were
completely confused by this action, and for now they are preoccupied with
irrational actions and nonsensical talk.

"The American imposition of sanctions on the highest-ranking political,
social, religious, and spiritual man in the country Iranian Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei, who is considered not only Iran's leader, but the leader of
all the Shi'ites, Muslims and lovers of the Islamic Revolution worldwide
is ridiculous and impudent. To date, a very large part of the public in
Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the rest of the world
Shi'ites and non-Shiites alike are devotees and lovers of the
revolution's great leader, and obey his orders. It is laughable that a
particular person [i.e. President Trump] has lost his senses and done
something impudent. Khamenei's property [that is subject to the sanctions]
comprises a single mosque and an ordinary home. Unlike other world leaders,
Iran's leader has no foreign bank accounts with millions of dollars that can
be blocked or confiscated.[3] All this shows that the enemy of the Iranian
people is today in an abnormal situation and acting accordingly and it is
precisely [this behavior] that boosts the morale of the [Iranian] public,
which realizes that the enemy has taken leave of its senses."[4]

Iranian Armed Forces Naval Commander Khanzadi: "This Teeth-Shattering
Response Will Be Repeated"

Iranian Armed Forces Naval Commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said during
a June 24, 2019 visit to the Defense Ministry's academic and industrial
centers in the Fars district: "I say clearly that this teeth-shattering
action [of downing the drone] is likely to be repeated in a row, and the
enemy is aware of this."

Khanzadi (Source: Fars, Iran, June 24, 2019)

On June 25, 2019, Khanzadi said during a visit to Iran's defense industries
that "the enemy knows that it will not survive if it goes crazy in the
Persian Gulf, and its defeat will not be limited solely to damaged
[military] equipment."

Billboard In Mashhad Depicts Aerosol Spray Against U.S. Drones

On June 23, 2019, the Manotonews.com opposition television channel, that
broadcasts from London, tweeted a video filmed by an Iranian in the city of
Mashhad, about a billboard erected by the Iranian regime in the city's
Independence Square. The billboard shows American drones being sprayed like
insects with "anti-U.S." drone killer marked "made in Iran."

Mashhad billboard (Source: Twitter.com/manotonews, June 23, 2019)

Kayhan's June 21 Front Page: "A Stinging Iranian Slap In The Face To
America"; "Now, Saudi Arabia And The UAE... Will Get Their Share"

On the front page of its June 21, 2019 edition, the regime mouthpiece Kayhan
stated: "The IRGC has downed the most advanced American intelligence drone
[in a] stinging Iranian slap in the face to America... The IRGC's blow...
was a stinging slap in the face for Trump [as well]. Now, Saudi Arabia and
the UAE Trump's milk cows will get their share, in light of their role
in this anti-Iran operation."[5]

Kayhan's June 22 Front Page: "The American President Did Nothing But Bombard
Iran With Tweets!"

The following day, June 22, 2019, Kayhan stated on its front page: "The
American army was humiliated; Trump [only] bombarded Iran with tweets! While
the Islamic Republic downed the invading American drone, and again
humiliated the American army with a decisive response the American
president did nothing but bombard Iran with tweets."[6]

Kayhan's June 22, 2019 front page

Kayhan, June 22: "America Was In Shock At The Downing Of The Drone And Began
Talking Nonsense"

Sadollah Zarei, a member of Kayhan's editorial board, wrote in the paper's
June 22, 2019 editorial: "America was in shock at the downing of the drone,
and began talking nonsense about this drone's location and mission. Each of
these [nonsensical statements] brought further humiliation for America...
The Iranian forces' hunting down of this drone showed the extent of the
groundlessness of the legendary [status] of the 'American military
technology and Pentagon operational force.' From here on in, those who
purchase American weaponry will doubt its might... It will be very
interesting to see the American response to the IRGC's downing of this
[extremely] modern and costly intelligence drone. First, America denied that
such an attack had taken place... then it denied [Iran's statements about]
the type [of drone it was], and [only] later did it agree that it was a
super-modern Global Hawk as Iran had announced immediately ...

"Ultimately, Trump invited to the White House all America's leaders, from
army commanders to political leaders, from the Republican party to the
Democratic party, from the Senate to Congressmen [sic, House of
Representatives], together with administration representatives, in order to
reach conclusions and arrive at decisions. In hours-long discussions, they
apparently made decisions, even though everyone knows that Trump does not
need to please [i.e. does not need the consent of] House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, Jewish-American Sen. Chuck Schumer, and other American Congressmen
in order to carry out a reprisal against Iran...

"The world noticed that even when all Iran's opponents convene at the White
House, they are incapable of taking countermeasures against Iran... But to
save face, Trump announced that the outcome of the American leaders' meeting
was a decision to attack three Iranian sites. Yet he [then] ordered the
[American] army to back down, 10 minutes before the operation was set to
begin, for humanitarian reasons...

"The Thursday incident [i.e. the June 20 drone downing] may bring about
fundamental developments in the regional situation namely, the Saudis and
the UAE will understand that America cannot help them, and that they must
come to terms with 'the reality of the region' and not waste [economic]
investment [based on reliance on the U.S.]."[7]

Kayhan, June 22: "This Operation Tested The American Response, And They Have
No Way Of Responding Militarily, And If They Carry Out Any Operation At All,
They Must Expect Unexpected Events That Are Even Worse"

Another June 22 article in Kayhan stated: "The downing of the Global Hawk 4Q
drone considered the most modern, most expensive, and heaviest
intelligence drone, with the longest-range and most advanced launch
[capabilities?] in the world over Iran's territorial waters and the Strait
of Hormuz by a surface-to-air missile fired by the defenders of state
security sent a clear message to the [American] president and other senior
American political and security-intelligence officials: When the Islamic
Republic of Iran decides to defend its national interest with its strategic
policy, it does not hesitate to do so, and to implement this decision at the
right time, and forcefully...

"Detecting and targeting a drone with such tremendous stealth capability,
that costs as much as three F-35 attack planes and 14 F-16 planes, shows the
high level of Iran's air defense system. [It also shows] that targeting
other American combat aircraft is very easy for Iran's air defense system...

"The area where the drone was downed, as it entered the Strait of Hormuz,
showed that in the event of any threat or absence of security by America,
closing the Strait of Hormuz is not [merely] a slogan! This is especially
true because one consequence of the targeting of the American drone amounts
to an [Iranian] restriction on American air traffic in the region and a
flight ban on its aircraft over the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, and
the Sea of Oman. The significance of this is the closure of the airspace
over the Strait of Hormuz! It showed that there is an option of closing the
Strait of Hormuz...

"Iran has at its disposal not only secret weapons, but also top-secret
weapons of which the Americans are unaware. Those in charge in the IRGC have
announced that they have secret weapons to respond to any invasion. They
have yet to announce super-secret weapons...

"In addition to a diplomatic defeat, the drone downing is [also] considered
a grave intelligence-security defeat... [U.S.] Secretary of State Pompeo
said prior to the downing of the intelligence drone that 'any attack by
Tehran or by groups identifying with it resulting in the death of even one
American will prompt a reciprocal military operation,' but faced with the
downing of such a costly and advanced drone, he dared not take any action,
and remained silent... This operation tested the American response, and they
have no way of responding militarily, and if they carry out any operation at
all, they must expect unexpected events that are even worse..."[8]

Kayhan, June 24: " Hardly A Week Goes By Without The Axis Of Evil [i.e. The
U.S. And Its Allies] In The Region Receiving A Smart Blow"

On June 24, Kayhan wrote: "... Hardly a week goes by without the axis of
evil [i.e. the U.S. and its allies] in the region receiving a smart blow.
The axis of evil brags, but is unexpectedly slapped in the face, and even
worse; the blows [it receives] from Iran and its allies are legitimate,
legal, and meted out in self-defense..."

Kayhan then summarized the unfolding of events, saying that Trump first
threatened to carry out a military attack against Iran, but then said that
the downing of the drone was apparently an Iranian mistake. He then thanked
Iran for not downing a plane with 30 passengers aboard.

Kayhan continued: "Has America won any war in the past two decades? This is
so clear that a braggart like Trump claims [that the U.S. has] spent $7
billion in the Middle East but has achieved nothing, [and also says that] it
is sad that he had to fly to Iraq secretly, aboard a plane whose lights
[must be] dimmed... What we did against the American drone was deterrence
and peace, not war."[9]

Kayhan, June 26: "Despite His Stupidity, Trump Realized That If He Fires At
Iran He Will Kiss A Second Term Goodbye"

In its June 26, 2019 editorial, titled "The Clown Administration,' Kayhan
stated: "The precise strike on the invading American drone took place the
morning after Trump officially announced his candidacy for the 2020 American
presidential election; the previous week, he had launched his campaign and
[began] making campaign speeches... Despite his stupidity, Trump realized
that if he fires at Iran, he will kiss a second term goodbye...

"One of Trump's oft-repeated refrains in recent years concerns Iran's
[January 2016] arrest of the American soldiers in the Persian Gulf [in the
final year of the Obama presidency], and the historic humiliation suffered
by the American military. [Trump] attacked Obama several times, [stating
that] his and his administration's weakness had led to this incident, and
adding that had he [Trump] been there [in the White House] it would never
have happened. The IRGC's swift and decisive action against the military
drone invading Iranian airspace, and its downing, showed Trump that the
Americans' problem is Iran's might, not who sits in the White House...

"Another clown is [Secretary of State] Pompeo, who traveled to the region to
create a strategic alliance against Iran, going to Saudi Arabia and the
UAE... The shot [fired] early on the morning [of June 20, 2019 that brought
down the drone]... was just one shot, but its value and impact were worth a
thousand shots, because it was executed precisely and at the right moment.
Even more important than the downing of the American drone is that their
[the Americans'] honor is shattered...

"The [U.S.] military option against Iran has been closed for years now, and
the Americans know this better than anyone. The only dossier that remains
open between Iran and America is the sanctions dossier, and in this arena,
Trump has fired his last bullets. In effect, he no [longer has any] leverage
to increase the pressure [on Iran]. The adversary's hands are emptier than
ever, and it is now up to us to turn the page to our advantage as soon as

"Tomorrow [June 26], Iran's [reserves of] enriched uranium will exceed the
[permitted] 300kg limit [as stipulated in] the [JCPOA] nuclear agreement.
This is [only] the first step, and the faces of the clowns in the American
administration will soon be even redder."[10]

IRGC-Affiliated Javan Daily, June 22: "The Glory Of The American Military
System Has Crashed"

On June 22, 2019, the IRGC-affiliated Javan daily wrote: "If to date Iran
has ignored the American aerial attacks or vessels and warships, conditions
are changing from now on... In the Iranian forces' first step in their
'active resistance,' the glory of the American military system has

Basij Commander Gheybparvar: The Americans "Were Stricken With Fear" And
"Dared Not" Strike

At a June 23 meeting of directors of the Rahian-e Noor groups students
visiting important sites of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) Basij commander
Gen. Gholamhossein Gheybparvar said: "Following this operation, there was
bedlam throughout the enemy camp's infrastructure. It is a sign of Iran's
might... Global military science experts know that destroying a drone is
unprecedented. [So] what the American president is saying, i.e. that they
wanted to attack three sites, is a lie. They were stricken with fear, and
dared not do such a thing."[12]

Gen. Gheybparvar (Source: Fars, Iran, June 23, 2019)

IRGC Khatam Al-Anbiya Headquarters Commander Rashid: "The Fates Of The
Interests Of The Peoples Of The Region Are Interdependent... Either All Of
Them Move [Together]... Or The Region Will Face Instability And War Because
Of America"

On June 23, 2019, Maj.-Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid, commander of the IRGC's
Khatam Al-Anbiya headquarters, said: "The fates of the interests of the
peoples of the region are interdependent, and peace [for one] and war for
another is not possible. Either all of them move [together] on a stability
track, or the region will face instability and war because of America's
policy of interference and incitement against certain countries. Words are
not enough to prevent war; there is a need for goodwill and appropriate

Maj.-Gen. Rashid (Source: Isna.com, Iran, June 23, 2019)

Fars News Agency, June 24: Cartoon Shows Trump Refusing To Attack Iran

On June 24, 2019, the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency published a cartoon
depicting President Trump's refusal to attack Iran, headlined "The
Aftershocks Of The Hunting Down Of The American Spy Drone." It shows a
defeated Trump being egged on by the Saudi, UAE, and Israeli leaders,
telling him "Strike them," "Don't compromise," and "Attack." Trump answers
them: "You wretches, these are the people who struck [us] before we attacked
them. What will happen when we strike them!!"

Fars cartoon, June 24, 2019.

Khamenei's Representative In IRGC To IRGC Commander, June 25: "My Heartfelt
Congratulations On A Successful Valiant And Glorious Deed"

On June 25, 2019, following the downing of the drone, Hojatoleslam Abdollah
Hajisadeq, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC, sent a message to IRGC
commander Hossein Salami stating: "The zealous IRGC fighters' successful
interception of the super-advanced American intelligence drone is only the
tip of the capability and progress of the defense industry and of the armed
forces' air defense, and is considered a mark of Iran's honor and power.
Therefore, I consider myself duty-bound [to offer] you my heartfelt
congratulations on a successful valiant and glorious deed achieved, thanks
to the steadfast believing colleagues and their scientific and practical
capabilities, who obey the supreme cleric [Khamenei]"[14]

Majlis Nuclear Committee Head Zolnur, June 20: A Warning To The Americans

On June 20, 2019, Mojtaba Zolnur, who heads the Majlis Nuclear Committee,
called "the downing of the American spy drone" a "warning to the Americans
that any attack they carry out will be met with hostility with Iran that
will make them sorry... This is a warning to the Americans that Iran's
borders are a red line, and Iran will respond decisively to any country that
attacks it. The countries in the region, and Iran's neighbors, must know
that they are not safe from American spy activity. The Americans cause
insecurity in the Middle East."[15]

Mojtaba Zolnur (Source: Tasnim, Iran, June 20, 2019)

Abdollahian, Aide To Majlis Speaker, June 20: A Tweeted "Warning" To Trump

On June 20, 2019, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, special aide to the Majlis
speaker, tweeted: "Warning to @ realDonaldTrump: If making a mistake, the
end of the line will be determined by a powerful Iran. Today, Trump & White
House hawks just received a resolute message from a small portion of Iran's
great defense capacities, leading to the shootdown of the US advanced
drone." The tweet included a photo of a Global Hawk drone.[16]

Twitter.com/Amirabdolahian/status/1141647128072269825, June 20, 2019

[1] Several apologists for Iran suggested a literal translation that is
uncommon linguistically, to downplay the impact of the statement. While
literal translations are accurate by definition, they do not convey what the
words are actually used to mean.

[2] Twitter.com/SAMOUSAVI9/status/1143355106873815045, June 24, 2019.

[3] Khamenei personally controls a financial empire of about $200 billion by
means of the Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam Headquarters for Executing
the Order of the Imam charitable fund.
Reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1, November 11, 2013.

[4] President.ir, June 25, 2019,

[5] Kayhan (Iran), June 21, 2019.

[6] Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019

[7] Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019.

[8] Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019.

[9] Kayhan (Iran), June 24, 2019.

[10] Kayhan (Iran), June 26, 2019.

[11] Javan (Iran), June 22, 2019.

[12] Fars (Iran), June 23, 2019.

[13] ISNA (Iran) June 23, 2019.

[14] IRNA, (Iran), June 25, 2016.

[15] Tasnim, (Iran), June 20, 2019.

[16] Twitter.com/Amirabdolahian/status/1141647128072269825, June 20, 2019.

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Materials may only be cited with proper attribution.

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