Those who oppose a referendum in Palestine are against democracy: Ayatollah Khamenei

American intellectuals have admitted that the Islamic Republic is the most democratic country in the region.
Today the basic American slogans regarding issues like human rights and democracy - which were once used as tool to decapitate nations and overthrow legitimate governments - have lost their credence.Americans showed their respect for human rights in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and many other prisons. They are currently showing off their respect for human rights in the numerous killings which they carry out in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are also flaunting their respect for democracy in Palestine. Hamas, which is a legitimate popular government, is currently ruling Palestine. They are spitefully mounting pressure on this government. They are showing their respect for democracy in Iraq by trying to impose a security agreement. Their pressure is stifling all nations. Currently the people and government officials of Iraq are expressing their objection, but the US is using threats and mounting pressure on them. That is while the present Iraqi government has been installed through the votes of the public. This is a parody of democracy. American intellectuals have admitted in their reports that the Islamic Republic is the most democratic country in the Middle East. They admit that our country holds elections to elect the president, the MPs, and the members of the Assembly of Experts who elect the leader of the country. They admit these facts but this is the way they treat the Islamic Republic. The American slogans regarding human rights and democracy have grown threadbare. Even ordinary people do not believe these slogans, let alone intellectuals.

Today whenever the US president travels to a country in a particular part of the world, the people of that country hold demonstrations and shout "go back to your home, Yankee!" What else can be more disgraceful than this? That is a measure of the US international reputation. If the US was to stop the Iranian nation and make it face a dead end, it would have done so when it [US] did not suffer from international disgrace. Today the US is not able to do so.

Statements made during a speech delivered on the occasion of Students' Day; Oct 29, 2008.

Today our historical duty is not to repeat the bland statements and torpid theories of the past, but to suggest approaches for liberating Palestine from the oppression of the Zionist regime.

Our proposal is a solution which is in total agreement with democracy and can form a common logical basis. That proposal is that all those who have a legitimate stake in the territory of Palestine, including Muslims, Christians and Jews should choose their own system of government in a general referendum.

All Palestinians who have borne for years the ordeals of exile should also participate in this referendum.

The Western world should know that non-acceptance of this solution will imply an absence of commitment to democracy, which it always claims to support. The failure to pass this test will further expose its double standards. Palestine was also the focus of an earlier test, when the West did not want to accept the result of elections in the West Bank and Gaza which brought the Hamas government into office. Those who accept democracy so long as it results in achieving their aims are war-mongering adventurers. If they talk about peace, it is nothing but lies and deception.

Leader’s Inaugural Address to the Fourth International Conference for Support of Palestine; Mar 4, 2009.