Iran’s Supreme Leader to American Students: You’re Standing on the Right Side of History


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Tehran, IranIn a powerful and impassioned open letter addressed to American university students, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has hailed their courageous support for the Palestinian cause. The letter, released on May 25, 2024, recognizes the students’ solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine, particularly in the face of intense political pressure and criticism.

A Message of Empathy and Solidarity

Khamenei began his letter by expressing empathy and solidarity with the young Americans whose “awakened conscience” has driven them to stand up for the oppressed women and children of Gaza. Addressing them directly, he wrote, “Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you. As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.”

The Supreme Leader’s message comes at a time when the issue of Palestine has garnered significant attention on college campuses across the United States. Recent months have seen numerous protests, demonstrations, and academic discussions focusing on the plight of Palestinians and calling for an end to Israeli occupation and aggression.

Criticism of U.S. Support for Israel

Khamenei’s letter did not shy away from criticizing the United States government for its unwavering support of Israel. He described the U.S. as providing “ceaseless political, economic, and military support” to what he termed the “usurper and brutal Zionist regime.” He accused the U.S. of turning a blind eye to Israel’s “state terrorism” and “ongoing oppression.”

He highlighted the historical context, claiming that after World War II, the “capitalist Zionist network” with British assistance, gradually took over Palestinian lands, leading to mass displacement and suffering. According to Khamenei, the establishment of Israel was marked by violence and the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, which he said continues today in the form of brutal repression and apartheid policies.

The Rise of the Resistance Front

In his letter, Khamenei praised the formation and growth of the Resistance Front, a coalition of groups opposing Israeli actions, which he claimed shares the same values and goals as the American students. “The greater Resistance Front which shares the same understandings and feelings that you have today, has been engaged in the same struggle for many years in a place far from you. The goal of this struggle is to put an end to the blatant oppression that the brutal Zionist terrorist network has inflicted on the Palestinian nation for many years,” he wrote.

He assured the students that the Resistance Front has grown stronger over time and will continue to gain momentum. He depicted this movement as a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Condemnation of Media and Global Elites

Khamenei also condemned what he described as the “global Zionist elite,” accusing them of controlling most U.S. and European media corporations and using their influence to distort the truth. He argued that this elite has mislabeled the Palestinian resistance as terrorism while portraying Israeli actions as self-defense. “The oppressive leaders of global hegemony mercilessly distort even the most basic human concepts,” he stated.

A Call to Action and Faith

The Supreme Leader concluded his letter with a call to action, urging the students to remain steadfast in their efforts and to seek guidance from the Quran. He quoted Quranic verses to emphasize the importance of standing up for justice and resisting oppression. “The Quran’s lesson for us Muslims and all of humanity, is to stand up for that which is right: ‘So be steadfast as you have been commanded’ (11:112). The Quran’s lesson for human relations is: ‘Do not oppress and do not be oppressed’ (2:279).”

Khamenei encouraged the students to become familiar with the teachings of the Quran, suggesting that such knowledge would fortify their resolve and guide their actions. He expressed his belief that a significant change is underway in global consciousness and that the struggle for Palestinian rights is part of this larger awakening.

Reactions and Implications

Khamenei’s letter has already sparked a wide range of reactions. Supporters of the Palestinian cause have welcomed his words, viewing them as a strong endorsement of their efforts. Critics, however, have accused the Supreme Leader of using the plight of Palestinians to advance Iran’s political agenda and to criticize the U.S. government.

This development underscores the increasing global attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of international solidarity movements. As American students continue to voice their support for Palestinians, the impact of their activism is being felt far beyond the borders of the United States.

The full ramifications of Khamenei’s message remain to be seen, but it is clear that the discourse surrounding the Palestinian issue is intensifying, with significant implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

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