TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iranians on Wednesday marked 31 years since the departure of Imam Khomeini, with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei saying the founder of the Islamic Republic shattered the myth of the invincibility of superpowers.
Decades after his departure, Imam Khomeini "is still alive among us, and should remain so”, Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised address.
"The Imam, those who worked for him, and the youths who would mobilize at a wave of his hand, humiliated superpowers in the true sense of the word, broke down their will, and ousted them from the stage,” the Leader stated.
"At the time, no one assumed that anything could be done contrary to what the U.S. willed. Imam Khomeini proved that superpowers are not invincible. We witnessed what happened to the Soviet Union. And today we are watching the U.S. and see what is transpiring there,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding Imam Khomeini taught the masses how these big powers can be overcome.
The Leader underlined the Imam’s spirit of "seeking and encouraging change,” calling him a "true leader”.
From a young age, Imam Khomeini would advise in favor of "rising up on the path of God,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted, and reminisced how the late leader would invoke "spiritual revolution” among people through his speeches.
The Leader also recalled how Imam Khomeini would endeavor towards galvanizing and revolutionizing the youth.
Imam Khomeini managed to eventually bring about "change across the whole Iranian nation,” and made the people abandon the spirit of lethargy and capitulation in the face of oppression, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution "did not deviate from this pro-change approach” even after Imam’s departure, the Leader said. "We underwent change in various areas and became more powerful than before.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the revolutionary attitude is still alive, citing Iran’s scientific and defensive achievements and noting that the Islamic Republic has attained its "deterrent status” thanks to its defense power.
In the political sphere, the country now portrays an "imposing image of itself in the world”, the Leader added.
In the economic field, Ayatollah Khamenei touched on Iran’s success to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, but warned about Iran’s aging population.
The Leader further touched on angry protests that have engulfed the United States in the aftermath of the gruesome killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.
"The fact that a policeman has cold-bloodedly pressed his knee on the throat of a black man until he died and that other policemen watched on without doing anything is nothing new,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"It is the true face of America, it’s what it has always done all over the world -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries, and before that in Vietnam.
"It is the normal course of action of the United States, it’s the true face of their regime,” the Leader said.
"These are realities that have always been camouflaged or hidden, but they are not new,” he said.
Protests sparked by Floyd’s killing by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have raged across the United States for a week and President Donald Trump has ordered the military to intervene.
"In dealing with its people, the U.S. government has behaved in the worst manner. The people of the United States have every right to feel embarrassed and ashamed by their governments, particularly the current one,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The once-in-a-generation unrest has coincided with the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
"Thank God, (U.S. leaders) have already been discredited by their actions -- their handling of the coronavirus has discredited and shamed them around the world,” Ayatollah Khamenei said of the more than 110,000 deaths from COVID-19 already registered in the United States.