In a rate appearance Wednesday, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini told 300 delegates attending a conference on American "interventions" in Iran that "the world could close their doors to us -- all of them" if they did not accept Iran's struggle against the United States.
"They can build a wall around Iran and imprison us," he continued. "We would rather have this than have open doors and exploiters come to our country. We don't want such civilization, which is worse than savagery. Animals from the wilderness are better than them."
The Ayatollah said Iran "welcomes martyrdom" and was not afraid of military intervention or economic sanctions aimed at freeing the hostages, held for 214 days.