“This means the end of a civilization, the end of a thought, and the end of a system." That is how Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad qualified his statement
regarding the "end of American civilization" that he referred to in his most recent televised speech in homage to the 'Ten Day Dawn' anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Events will culminate on February 11th with "a telling blow against global arrogance," according to the Iranian President's previous speech marking the opening of ceremonies for the anniversary. During this most recent speech, Ahmadinejad claimed that the West, the United States in particular, had been the biggest historical impediment to the worldwide Islamic Revolution:
“The arrogant and hegemonic powers, which mankind experienced in the past 300 years – and past 60 years in particular – have been the biggest historical impediment in the face of fulfillment of this goal (worldwide Islamic revolution),” he said, according to the BBC.
Ahmadinejad went on to declare that the “materialistic and hegemonic (American) system” was dead, and that slogans about freedom, human rights and democracy had misled the world, further declaring that America "has no thoughts or means other than the use of arms to prove themselves." As with his cryptic allusion to the 'telling blow' on February 11, the Iranian president provided no specifics on what would bring about America's end and focused more on polemics, perhaps to rally his domestic Islamist audience. Calls of "Death to America" and the burning of US flags have been political staples in Iran for thirty years.
As has been widely reported, tensions have risen sharply in the Persian Gulf with American deployments
of warships and Patriot missile batteries to Gulf states vulnerable to Iranian missile attacks. Tensions are also rising between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear program, as well as its brutal treatment and executions of Green protesters. To compound matters further for Ahmadinejad's government, opposition leaders Mir Hussen Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have called for nationwide protests
on February 11, the final day of celebrations of the Revolution's anniversary. The government has promised a harsh response to protests.