Office of the Supreme Leader/AP
In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addresses a group of Iranian military commanders in Tehran, Iran, April 17.

Iran's Khamenei condemns Boston Marathon attacks, but takes jab at US policies

Iran's supreme leader was emphatic in his condemnation of the Boston Marathon attacks, but criticized the US for decrying attacks on its own civilians while carrying out drone strikes elsewhere.

Iran’s supreme leader today added his voice to condemnations of the Boston bomb blasts, while also digging at what he deemed double standards over drone strikes and other attacks that left civilian casualties. 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said US reaction was “contradictory” and “illogical,” in light of its actions overseas.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, which follows the logic Islam, is opposed to any bombings and killings of innocent people, no matter if it is in Boston, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria and condemns it,” Ayatollah Khamenei told military commanders in Tehran today, according to his website and Iranian media reports. 

“The US and other so-called human rights advocates remain silent on the massacre of innocents in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but they cause a ruckus after a few blasts in the United States,” said Khamenei.

Iran’s condemnation of the dual Boston explosions, which killed three and injured 176, faintly echoed Iran’s more full-bodied condemnation of the 911 attacks in the US. After that event, thousands of Iranians took to the streets to hold candlelight vigils – the only nation in the Middle East to see such a significant public outpouring of sympathy.

Those vigils appeared especially significant at the time, because Iran and the US have been arch foes since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution toppled a pro-Western monarch.

In his speech today, Khamenei singled out civilian casualties in Pakistan and Afghanistan from US drone attacks. On his official Twitter account, he wrote: “US claims to be against WMDs [weapons of mass destruction], but they kill innocent women and children by drones.” 

Another tweet read: “Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Khamenei condemns the Boston terrorist attack.”

Iran’s top leader did not mention the covert war Iran has been subject to in recent years, which has included the assassination of five nuclear scientists, unexplained explosions at sensitive facilities, and other reported acts of sabotage that Iran blames on the US and Israel.

Nor did he mention a string of small-scale attacks or attempted attacks last year in Georgia, India, and Thailand, which local investigators have linked to Iran. Nor did Khamenei mention US charges of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington by bombing a Washington restaurant – to which an Iranian-American suspect pleaded guilty in October 2012 – or further US charges that Islamic Republic operatives took Americans lives in the past decade by engaging with and supporting anti-US militias in Iraq, and to a lesser degree the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Khamenei did mention Syria, where the US and Iran are on opposite sides in a broader proxy war. Iranian commanders have stated that Iran is actively working to bolster its close ally, President Bashar al-Assad. News reports indicate that Iran has provided critical training and weaponry to the regime and pro-regime militias.

The US has supported the antiregime rebels, reportedly helping Qatar and Saudi Arabia funnel weaponry to them through Jordan and Turkey. Mr. Assad and Tehran call the rebels “terrorists."

“What kind of logic is this, that if children and women are killed by Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by US-backed terrorists in Iraq and Syria, it is not a problem, but if a bombing happens in the US or another Western country, the whole world should pay the cost?” Khamenei said today.

Such "contradictions," "coercions and lack of care for human principles," Khamenei asserted, indicated that "Western civilization is on the verge of collapse and downfall."

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