DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The United States is using sex, money and Western lifestyles to infiltrate Iran’s decision-making elite, the Islamic republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.
The remarks by Khamenei, who has the last word on matters of state, followed a wave of arrests of journalists and intellectuals by Tehran authorities over fears of Western infiltration after Iran reached an agreement with world powers over its nuclear program.
“Two main things are used for this infiltration: money and sexual attractions. They are used to change beliefs, viewpoints and lifestyles, so that the affected person will think in the same way as an American,” Khamenei said in remarks broadcast on state television.
“The main targets of this infiltration are the elites, influential people and decision-makers. This is why infiltration is such a great danger,” Khamenei told a gathering attended by commanders of the Basij, IRGC’s voluntary militia arm.
The IRGC has rounded up artists, journalists and U.S. citizens as part of the crackdown on infiltration by the West.
Last week the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee criticized Iran for the crackdown, as well as its increased use of the death penalty, a rebuke Tehran dismissed as “Iranophobia.”
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by John Stonestreet)