Analysis: Is Iran's Khamenei flirting with the 'Great Satan'?
March 9th, 2012
12:55 AM ET

Analysis: Is Iran's Khamenei flirting with the 'Great Satan'?

By Elise Labott

Does recent - and rare - praise by Iran's supreme leader for President Barack Obama's efforts to dampen war talk suggest the regime is making an overture toward the United States?

According to Iran's state-run Press TV, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei welcomed Obama's statement that there is a "window of opportunity" to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis through diplomacy, calling such remarks positive. This week, Obama has tried to cool down the martial rhetoric, saying there is too much "loose talk" of war with Iran.

"This talk is good talk and shows an exit from illusion," Khamenei told Iran's Assembly of Experts, a senior clerical body, about Obama's remarks.

He also singled out Obama's comments about bringing the Iranian people to their knees with continued sanctions. That, he said, "shows the continuation of illusion in this issue."

But the supreme leader does have the final word on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. officials believe. And he is not one to give props to the United States lightly. Khamenei did acknowledge Obama's pledge to enter into a dialogue with Iran upon taking office, but at the same time said Washington must change its actions. Still, he has never ruled out the possibility of better relations with the United States.

This time his comments come as Tehran and world powers are about to resume talks aimed and ending the nuclear standoff.

American officials admit the comments are intriguing and Iran watchers in the U.S. government are combing intelligence for signs as to what it might mean.

With Iran's recent parliamentary election reinforcing his power over rival hard-liners led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Khamenei may be feeling more secure. Khamenei declared the 64 percent turnout as a "victory," and said it would boost Iran's prestige and security. And having effectively beaten down the opposition movement, the regime's paranoia since the 2009 tumultuous elections seems to have subsided.

But Khamenei's remarks also may signal he fears the possibility of a military attack. Or he may be worried that continued sanctions may, in fact, bring Iranians to their knees, and bring about the regime's demise. Which is why, officials say, the administration is trying to determine to what degree the sanctions are actually biting. The supreme leader could be feeling enough of a pinch now to know that he could be in deeper trouble down the line.

Beyond that, officials are fairly sober and unexcited about Khamenei's flirting. Nobody is ignoring them, but neither is anyone viewing them as a serious overture on which to build.

If Khamenei was inclined to negotiate with America, there are plenty of channels through which to communicate a signal. For example, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and her counterpart have been known to trade messages; or Livia Leu Agosti, the Swiss ambassador to Iran, who has the unenviable job of protecting American interests in Tehran and therefore must act as a go-between for the two countries.

The Iranians also have close relations with Turkey, Russia, Oman and Iraq, all of which have been used on occasion as a third-party messenger. A wink and a nod from Khamenei at a public meeting is hardly being viewed in Washington as a genuine invitation to start a dialogue.

What's more, nothing in Iran's record since the two countries severed ties in 1979 suggests the Iranians have any desire to negotiate.

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, this week hailed a "new chapter" in Iran's engagement with the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog. But even as the six powers that negotiate with Iran - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - urged the regime to grant IAEA inspectors access to its Parchin military base, satellite images examined by the IAEA suggest cleanup activity is going on at the site, diplomatic sources said.

After denying the inspectors access to the site last month, amid concern the Iranians have conducted testing on nuclear components there, Iran offered this week to let the inspectors into Parchin. But officials caution a scrubbed site does not suggest the regime is ready to come clean on its nuclear program to allay U.S. concerns.

So, the White House says the policy of pressure on Iran will continue until Iran changes its behavior regarding its nuclear program.

Last month Khamenei called possession of nuclear weapons a "sin," which he said was against Islam. He repeated Iran's pledge not to seek nuclear weapons, calling them "costly and dangerous."

U.S. officials aren't taking Khamenei at his word. But perhaps the supreme leader is saying is that he doesn't take Obama at his word either, when he insists he's not ready to go to war.

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Filed under: IAEA • Iran • Khamenei • Middle East • Nuclear • Obama
soundoff (437 Responses)
  1. ahmad

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  5. Brett

    With all the talk, fear of nukes (Iraq, Iran, N Korea, etc), and all the talk of wanting peace and/or nuke disarmament, why don't we create something like a second UN that would control all the worlds arsenal? The countries would still have their precious toys, but they wouldn't have their big red button to use them. Face it, as much as we preach disarmament, powers like the US and Europe will never willingly disarm their stockpiles so its hypocritical to demand others too do so. Taking the trigger away and giving it to a UN like system might deter some of the problem. After WW2 I think we all should have learned that nukes are too devastating to be used given, not only the direct impact on civilians, but the long lasting issues with radiation, etc. Sure, some might say we need them if a giant asteroid is going to take us out, but as for war we don't need them. That's why they were never used again after WW2. Just as a certain chopper wasn't allowed to be used in Vietnam due to it's overwhelming power, nukes need to not be used for the same purpose. I'm sure I'll get hassled for this post but I just think the countries of the world have bigger problems to deal with than making, or worrying about others making, nuclear weapons.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:11 am | Reply
  6. truthsayor

    The US and Iran do not think alike at all. The US is gullible and really tries to believe, over and over and over. The US is in a dream world where God is going to save the US. Iran on the other hand is insane. They believe the US is the devil's lair and they will go to heaven and tap 73 virgins daily for killing people in the US. Iran consorts with terrorists and will do anything to destroy the great satan. That's reality, whether you like it or not. Quit dreaming. It's only a matter of time till things change bigtime. Good luck and find an out to another country for when the shet hits the fan. I have.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:58 am | Reply
  7. peter

    as a pure white american christian who served his country in the Iraq war. i stand with Israel and the Jews. . Muslims are killing Christians in every single Muslim country and this moron Elise labbot who wrote this article shows the stupidity and the vile naivenes we are up against. Islam is the enemy of all Christians and jews. they want us to either convert to Islam or die. anyone who doesn't know this im sorry to say is an imbecile. as far as Elise labbot she should get back in the kitchen where she belongs. she is exactly another neville chamberlain. shels the type of imbecile who will believe Hitler wants piece. fucking moron!!!

    March 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • why

      Why do you lie? why are you so sick? are all americans like this? I am a Iranian Christian, I love my country, and I can't recall a single event where I heard a muslim Iranians killing Armenian-christian or Catholic Iranian, or a Iranian Jew because of religion. Its true the regime in Iran does not allow converts from muslim to christianity/judaism (those who want do it in secret), but there is no discrimination put on Christians or Jews. So what does your comment have to do with this? Are you a subhuman that cannot understand that our problem is not religion, it is political corruption?

      I read other Americans say don't believe what these comments hear say, they represent a minority, but these comments are the majority here. What is wrong with you people, you are dysfunctional and filled with hate. It is despicable.

      March 12, 2012 at 1:35 am | Reply
    • Syeda

      Are u a pure white christian ? Why did you mention your race? If you were a pure christian, you would never menton your race. Guess what, you are pure white christian like KKK. KKK also claimed to be pure white christian like you.
      I have so many friends who are white christians and black christians . Some of them did serve in Iraq. But thank God they are not insane like you. You are a veteran liar and shoud be ashamed of yorself. You can stand with Israel and your Jewish friends but you don't have to be insane.
      I never seen any Muslim to force any body to convert.
      You are a true loser.

      March 12, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
      • semper fi

        yo i am an ex marine and a former Navy Seal and if you believe there will be peace between us and iran you are ignorant and stupid. Muslims hate americans and christians. they believe we are satan and they will stop at nothing to destroy us

        March 20, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  8. IronKnuckle

    This story is a laughable exercise from the news network that ran the headline "Why did the terrorists attack us?" on September 11th, 2001. What CNN's writer fails to recognize is that the Iranians may be using Obama like a tool to just buy more time to have their nuclear ambitions realized.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • IronKnuckle

      Dear CNN editors, do you seriously think the Ayatollah isn't smart enough to manipulate you like this? It's sad to see you dancing to his music. And they do it, all the time.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  9. Hugo Chavez

    Iran is the Great Devil worshipper. Free the Iranians from their own noisome oppressive devil worshippers.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  10. Greg

    Whether you think Iran should be bombed or praised, can we PLEASE stop talking about how Obama "is in bed" with Iran. For the love of God, whether you love or depise the President of the United States, whether you love or despise his vision for our country, he does what he thinks is best for America. Period. Even if you don't think what he does is best – even if you think it is destroying America – to say he purposely harms America is beyond insane. Every single president, for better or for worse, does what they think is best for our country.

    March 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • sma89

      well said! :)

      March 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Reality

      WAKE UP! Get a second opinion.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Exterminator X

      How many shot of Tequila did you have so far or did you drunk the whole bottle. Sound like a brain dead drunker to me.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • aj

      I disagree, George Dumbya Bush irreparably harmed this country all to line the pockets of his wealthy big business friends

      March 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Gabe

      I myself believe Iran is a threat to world peace. Maybe not in the next few months but the leadership is looking for a fight. They want to be a part of their history of a armagadden. Also I have heard how much certain liberal groups incuding the new media have scorned the previous president. The present one seems to walk on water and never, never says or does anything wrong. Nevr mind the crap he is pulling with our tax dollars. Hospitals are closing, businesses are falling flat, homes have lost upto 25% of their values. This dude is not a president. He bends over and kisses muslems butts and apologizes for americans. He is a president but not mine. This November will show how the amercian peopel voted. Hopefully his goons will not attempt to stop people from voting and put the US Attorney on trail for hiding and lying under oath in front of congress. Under the new admistration Pay about 30 grand a year in taxes.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
      • moderate citizen

        IDIOT!!!!!!

        March 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • Rich in TX

        And when Obama wins re-election, what then? Will you admit that the majority of Americans chose him, at least, over whatever Republican challenger wins?

        Don't get me wrong; it's not that I like Obama – heck, I don't even like the democratic process as practiced in America. It's that the American people always are forced to choose between rotten choices.

        March 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Tony Mian

    Nuclear Iran Is an Exaggerated Threat...

    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/nuclear-iran-is-exaggerated-threat

    March 11, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  12. Tony Mian

    If India, Pakistan ans ISRAEL can have nuclear weapons, what is wrong with Iran having it? few crude could save their face but will not be ANY threat to Israel that it is trying to project. I don't see any suicide bombers coming from Iran since the Bush's war , Weapon of Mass Destruction allegation against Iraq. How is Iran a threat with a few nuclear weapons, when US and Israel has hundreds of thousands of them? Iran knows that if it even ventures in any wrong path, it will not be pleasant for them. And why is few sentences from Ahmadeenajad is always refereed (incorrectly interpreted anyways), to justify aggression and war drum beating march!

    March 11, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • QDV

      Tony...when's the last time you heard about Israel's leadership threatening to wipe another nation off the face of the earth? If one of your neighbors was talking about wiping Tony and his family off the face of the block, would you dismiss that as just a few sentences, or would you be taking a closer look?

      India and Pakistan with nukes...they've rattled sabers at each other a-plenty. It always amazes me that Japan doesn't send anybody, either Hiroshima/Nagasaki survivors or survivors of last year's meltdown, to explain that, sooner or later, they're in for a bad situation?

      March 11, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
      • Joe Buwana

        People seem to forget history. The former Soviet Union issued a similar threat to the US: "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you." Nikita Khrushchev, remark at the Polish embasy in Moscow, Nov. 18, 1956. Didn't happen! We must keep things in perspective "War" is a Lose/Lose proposition. In this current Age the consequence of war is to high. We must chose a Win/Win approach – let diplomacy work. Remember the Neocons who sent us into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction!

        March 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Cephas

      Tony,
      Have you ever looked at a map of Israel? Two bombs, one in Tel Aviv and one in Haifa, and another 6 million Jews, not to mention countless Arabs, are incinerated. TWO bombs.

      March 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Exterminator X

      Simple. Would you put a psychopath to operate those button on all underground nuclear bombs ready to be launch?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • peter

      tony, the difference is that israel and america dont blow up fucking planes and buildings in the name of allah. do they? they dont blow themselves up to kill as many people as they can do they? for u to compare israel and usa with nukes and why should iran have nukes just shows all of us that u are muslim and your a fanatic and probably danced in the streets when the twin towers fell.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • David Richardson

        I think those who died at the King David Hotel would think differently...

        March 12, 2012 at 7:57 am |
      • Wendell MacKenzie

        What about ships in the gulf of Tonkin? I guess they blow themselves up...damned iran...blowing ships up in the gulf of tonkin...you can't trust them you know.

        March 12, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • truthsayor

      Tony, Iran's leadership is truly as crazy as heIl. And that's the truth.

      March 12, 2012 at 3:01 am | Reply
    • Rich in TX

      You're a fool. Any nation that regularly chants "DEATH TO AMERICA! DEATH TO ISRAEL!" should never have the capacity to make that chant a reality.

      And that is NOT a misinterpretation – believe it or not, they really want us dead. Why do you not take them at their word?

      March 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  13. Power of Reason

    Everybody knows the Iranian tough talk was all pre-election rhetoric. Imagine That! Pre-election rhetoric.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  14. shooshoo

    Of course he would! Iran contributed to Obama's campaign. They are in bed together. America wake up and smell the coffee. Our president has sold us to the devil for $$.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • Power of Reason

      You really need to take off the tin foil hat.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • sma89

      burden of proof is on you buddy. evidence?

      March 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • tmc

      and you have proof of this I presume!!!!

      March 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • moderate citizen

      You I am sure get all your misguided information from your Koch brother employers!

      March 12, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  15. JFB

    the cancerous regime of the terrorist state of evil Iran needs to be surgically removed. Its evil is unquantifiable

    March 11, 2012 at 4:59 am | Reply
    • ss

      STFU, people like you need to be removed from the gene pool.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:48 am | Reply
      • Cephas

        People with your initials, ss, seemed to have tried that one 80 years ago.

        March 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
      • kevin

        why are u so insulted ? Are u working for the regime , or are u spy of the regime but mooching off the us government ? !! living here , using all the advantages of living in an advanced adn democrat country but sympathized with a dictattorship regime who 90 petrcent of their people hate them ... you wanted proof , ask any iranian person you know , see how many like this regime .

        March 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  16. gdaym8

    "What a strange game Professor Falken. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"

    March 11, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • tmc

      Wargames good movie, let's not turn it into reality. .

      March 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  17. fuzzihardon

    I like the idea that a good talk is needed just make a bunker for me in my home town like the one
    the whitehouse has for obama and his clan.

    March 11, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
  18. purplechum

    the nuke issue is smoke and mirrors to cover the real issue. Iran wants to go off the dollar for their oil sales. This upsets the international stranglehold the Central Bank has on the financial world and would make the US no longer able to manipulate the world of high finance. The sanctions are geared to bring them under control financially, not to stop nuke production.

    March 11, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • saywhattt

      Do you have sources?

      March 11, 2012 at 3:57 am | Reply
    • Alex

      I am far more concerned about a nuclear Iran than I am about Iran selling their oil in another currency...We do not buy oil from Iran anyway, and as the second largest purchaser of the substance, I think that we will be plenty able to manipulate that market moving forward.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:16 am | Reply
      • lol

        man you are stupid, can you even read? If they dump the dollar our currency looses it's value. They are the main suppliers to China and India. Seriously why is it hard to comprehended when someone has even gone ahead and spelled it out for you. Fuck...why is our country filled with so many morons?

        March 11, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  19. BinLiner

    i hope Iran develops a stockpile of nuclear weapons. at least negotiations with the US would be on even terms. so what if the US thinks Iran is an "imminent threat". no doubt Iran regards the US as an imminent threat (with a whole lot more credibility). the US is the most dangerous state on earth (even to its own people)... do you think the US government would ever relinquish its nukes and allow UN inspectors to confirm? the US is a hypocracy, not a democracy.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • Commojoe

      Get a life, douchebag. Bozobama has given any and all Islamic countries such lattitude because he blames the US for all the evil in the world, as our enemies do. Bozobama is going to bow to, bend over for, and do anything he can for the rest of the world, while they dump on the US. This fool has to go in November.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
      • agilelamb

        You would be absolutely astounded how much a little humility can buy. But then again, neither humility nor diplomacy are your strong suits, are they? You are more inclined towards bluster and failure, I would wager.

        March 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Haha Iran

      The US has brains and morals. Something Iran will never have. This is why we can have nukes.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  20. tman

    sounds like the mullahs are the greater satan........

    March 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  21. wavejump1100

    obama is doing the right thing, giving iran a chance to save face yet at the same time back off its nuclear ambitions. it sounds as if iran may be considering taking the olive branch obama has extended to them by holding the war mongers at bay. the midddle east is a powder keg and americans are tired of war. sure the US could "win" but at what cost. the best outcome would be for iran to allow full inspection of its nuclear sights and the west could end the sanctions. bombing their nuclear sights should only be an absolute last resort.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  22. Robert

    You ever notice how no one in Iran can find a razor? Everyone walks around with a 5 o'clock shadow on their face-–even Ahmadinejad and his military officers. Not very professional, in my opinion. If you're going to grow a beard, then fine. Grow one. Either that or learn to shave. Get rid of this half-way thing. It makes you look like a bum.

    March 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • Housmand

      They are bums. They introduced that little style after the revolution to "distinguish" themselves from the clean cut clean shaved Imperial army personnel. If you look closely you will notice that none of them have tie, because of the same reason. Infact, when the revolutionary guards was formed in the beginning they didn't even have ranks and they use to purposely wrinkles their fatigues to project the image of a simple, grounded revolutionary

      March 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • c

      I often wonder the same thing about our own president. No jacket, rolled up sleeves and open collar seem unprofessional to me.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
      • Jackso

        It's called casual style, i.e. when he is not on the news telling us that Bin Laden has been hunted down and killed. You know, the thing your boy Bush couldn't do. Btw I never heard you people complain about Bush dressed up in his little outfits...farmhand from brokeback mountain, pilot ("mission accomplished"), clueless golfer, the list goes on and on.

        March 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  23. Mohammad A Dar

    Mohammad A Dar
    Do not expect any thing better from hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, neither they are what they claim to be nor they live by what they claim in their hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism, way of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, live by hindu soul, filthy desire and do any thing to satisfy, hindu soul, desire in their hinduism, criminality. instigators of hinduism, war among humanity for ages, by claiming to be , what they never are, obedient to truth absolute.

    March 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • jay

      You comments on a totally unconnected subject clearly proves you are a brain washed lunatic trying to get more people converted into Lunacy. YOU (and people like you) represent the Satan.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
      • Rich in TX

        Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

        March 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • truth

      You ask what about the Palestinians. That is a fair question. But who are the Palestinians? Palestinians are partly Egyptians and partly Jordanians. They are not people of the land. Most of them are recent migrants. Palestine is a region. There has never been a country called Palestine for you to say Israelis have stolen our lands. And the Palestinians have enough land to build their country and live happily.

      If the Palestinians cannot tolerate Jews, they can go back to where they came from. They actually did that but once in Jordan they plotted to overthrow the government of King Hussein until he buchered them by thousands and kicked them out of his country. You people can’t live in peace with anyone, not even with yourselves. You are a warrior people, or to put it bluntly, savages

      March 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
      • mipolitic

        well truth moving on to the topic of this iranian leader praising obama , while behind the scenes they are building jihad nukes , what is the excuse for obama down playing the threat of iran builing nukes ?

        obama and gang have suggested to the world that israel should do nothing about the threat that is in fact threatening israel,s existance. so staying on topic , what about that "TRUTH" ?

        March 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  24. Dariush

    I am Iranian, I want to say one thing, I see posters, I guess "liberal americans", saying Shah (emperor) was evil dictator installed by the Americans. It is true, Mossadegh was elected democratically, because he wanted to nationalize the oil. The English had been taking advantage of our oil through the Anglo-Iranian oil company (known now as BP). Iranians where frustrated that we as sovereign country had to live with the threat of war if we wanted the revenues from own industry. Shah had to live with this threat because the massive power England had in the region after WWII. Mossadegh never deposed the Shah, just limited his power, we became a constitutional monarchy. But many Iranians where uneasy to, Mossadegh had some socialist views and many Iranians where worried where that would lead to. So when the Shah power was reinstated many Iranians supported it. Unfortunately the Shah and our intelligence community came to fear anything that was considered even resembling a communist agenda. Communist/socialist parties was banned, they constantly feared USSR, and this fear was fueled by the USA as they help the Iranian military to be an ally in the potential war against USSR. Imagine not being able to get government job because they would not give you a security clearance because your grandmother was from Russia. Otherwise Iran was great place to live, I feelt I had freedom, I feelt secure, I visited many western countries and I feelt my country was in pace with them. There was no goverment enforced religion, there was no dress codes. People where free. The revolution happened because the paranoia became to much, it started inflicting with regular peoples lifes to some extent because our version of CIA, the SAVAK, had morphed into a huge organization, who had power at all levels. We wanted to change that, we wanted to improve our quality of life, the revolution had many political groups, the islamic/religious ones where just minor part of it, the social movement where the major parts of it. Somehow things got out-of hand and the Islamist hijacked the revolution (they are so good at it) and then they turned on the other political fractions, i.e. socialist. They carried out mass executions of goverment officials, military personel, basically everyone who where capable to take charge. Most of us realized what was happening, they then started enforcing islamic dress codes and people started demonstrating. Unfortunately Saddam saw that Iran was on fire and the army was more or less disband. So he took the opportunity to attack Iran by surprise. All us where against the new regime now had to focus on going to the front and defend our country. Many died, especially in the first 2-3 years because we had no leadership structure and because the nature of the regime all western countries where supporting and supplying Saddam . Please don't believe that we sent children to clear mindfields. It is true that happened in some attacks, but they where volunteers, we all where volunteers, I myself was 20 and my brother was 15, he lied about his age. Very few where trained soldiers. People would throw themselves over barb-wires so outhers could jump over. We did'nt do that for religion, with did that out of desperation to defend the homeland. Religion is what the regime wants to potray. After the war the regime had solidified their power and we where to tired to oppose them. Things have changed but its slow but we will throw them out.

    March 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • William

      Finally, a good, cultured post from an Iranian. As an American, I can tell you that the majority of the US population does not want war with Iran. Of course, there are some idiots in the GOP who are always rattling sabers, but they are the minority (they just make a lot of noise). Someday, I hope you and others like you can reclaim democracy for your country, but your people will have to bear that burden yourselves because we've seen what happens when America tries to institute democracy by force. That said, a new generation of Americans is on the horizon. A generation who, hopefully, will be wise enough to see the mistakes we made in the past and not repeat them. With any luck, in another 50 years, we will be brothers and not enemies. Until then, all we can do is hope and try our best, each day, to leave this world in better shape than we found it.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
      • Trumpmania

        Actually the more refined comments here have been from Iranians, a couple of them stating that they are in Iran, guessing like this guy. I am surprised that they have the guts to go online & express anti-regime/anti-islamic views. When something stinks this badly it's bound to get out sooner or later. As for the less cultivated comments from the US...I am starting to believe it's Eurotrash out to defame America. More worrisome than all of this is that Iranians inside Iran have a better grasp of the English language than most folks who post comments on here. What does that say about our educational system?

        March 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • BobbyJohn

        The Iranian people are a great people. They have tried and paid the price many times to make change. Do not connect the behavior of the few you see in the news to the people of iran.

        March 11, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • mipolitic

      hi , ok what does the history lesson have to do with the jihad nukes of iran today ?

      no one want to attack the common folk of iran , we just want the inspectors to remove the nuke threat or the nuke sites will be removed. NO ONE IS SUGGESTING WAR WITH IRANIAN PEOPLE.
      we just want the threat gone.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Itir

        Well if you bothered to read it, he is referring to the misconceptions many in the comment section are making. So it is related. Unlike your ranting about "jihad nukes", but I caught some of your other posts, especially the ones regarding the President, so I don't have high expectations for unethical, undemocratic, fear mongering douce bags like you.

        March 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • mipolitic

        hey Itir guy , or is that I T guy from the big house , this is a free world and opinions are allowed , so dud where am i out of line ?
        so while your I T knowledge gives you the ability to track me , it does not give you access to me and if you are who i think you are we both know that , so since i am posting comments like every one else here with political views that may not put obama in the best light i would suggest you read the constitution , and sammy we have views of politics that you can not understand because you have not the ability to read an opinion without becoming angry or emotional due to the fact you stoop to a low level and resort to ugly name calling. maybe after november you will cool down when a new guy takes the job.

        March 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Jackso

      Interesting, anyone else seeing parallels between pre-revolutionary Iran and the GOP/Tea bagers/FOX news witch hunt and labeling people as socialist/communist?

      March 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
      • c

        jackso, get a life

        March 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
      • sma89

        anyone who uses the term "teabaggers" or any term like it deserves no respect or response.

        March 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • Rich in TX

        "anyone else seeing parallels"

        No, I think it's just you.

        March 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • sma89

      I've never really had ill will towards Iranians, but this really opened my eyes. Thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy post! x

      March 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Thanks for taking the time, Dariush. There is so much for the Iranian people to remember, so many tragic detours that have to be retraced to get back to the original hope of the revolution and social benefit. It's so unfair that the revolution was wrenched from the people's original intention, but Iran is not the first country in which that happened. Yes, you will throw them out.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Rich in TX

      Thanks for the thoughtful post. I trust you, and others like you, understand that we cannot wait to act. If your government develops nuclear weapons, the chants of "Death to America! Death to Israel!" have a possibility of becoming more than mere rhetoric.

      I sincerely hope the sons and daughters of the Persian empire reclaim their birthright and throw the mullahs out of power, before they are forced to die defending them. Time is ticking.

      March 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  25. Roto

    Iran would never be sinful! Don't be ridiculous. That's why they have supported Hamas and the other good guys.

    March 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  26. Dave

    We still do not have correct understanding of the Iranian situation. There is a mistrust between Iranians and US Government due to the fact that Iranians in 1951 to 53 democratically elected a western educate Dr. Mossadegh as PM, but CIA/MI5 covertly replaced him with a dictator western puppet the Dictator shah, trained his secret service SAVAK to brutally kill, jail and torture Iranians with the support of USA and UK for over 25 years. Now put ourselves in the Iranians shoes!? Would any of us, Americans, trust a country who with deception and bribery overthrow our elected officials and replace them with their choice?! Furthermore, Iranian people have had a very rough history of political reformed in the past 100 Years on multiple occasions. Iranians have tried to have democracy and freedom to chose and elect but it has been stopped by the western foreign governments , and their allies. Set back into a dictatorship such as Saudi, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, (Our dictator allies on the war against terror!?). I guess we are trying to over throw the only country in the middle east with some seeds of democracy to replace it with our version of democratic government we are supporting in the region (Another theocracy like Saudi where women do not have any right to vote & hold positions!?), Iran and US have a lot more common interest that differences!? Where we differ with Iran is not over our interests because we need their oil and they also need to sell it, they want peace in the region to do business and we want the same, Our enemies Taliban and Bin Laden are also the Iranians enemies since Iran was battling them before 9/11!? So if our politicians want to protect our interest rather than the interest of the corporation (oil, gas, Arms, etc) via nation building or support of the puppet dictators in the region by spending billions in foreign aid, then we need to rethink our foreign policy or deal with the people not the puppet dictator we impose on them via Qudeta!? If we can gain their trust and establish relationship with Iran accepting their right to the science and technology (basically meet with them not at the position of top to bottom talking over their head but respectfully at the same level, then we can save our foreign aid investing it inside our country making our life better rather than killing peasant and deprived causing hatred toward us! Iranian people are more that 99% educated and have had plenty of political turmoil experience in the past. As the history indicated Iranian are quite capable of deciding their future and do not need foreign interference.

    March 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • BobbyJohn

      Iranians also know that the americans prevented iran from becoming a puppet of communist russia following wwII.

      March 11, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  27. trigger_happy

    Let me give you a picture that will appear on the front page of CNN in a near future:
    All those guys behind the old dude in this picture, including the black robed dude, Khamenei will be hanged and shot just like what appeared on the front page of CNN when Saddam was hung.
    All those fancy military outfits will be blood stained. That would be the day, Iranian people will pour out in the streets and burn their Qurans!

    March 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • mipolitic

      buddy you should have been wearing a helmet when you fell of the four wheeler out there in red neck country because you are suffering from fluid on the brain or maybe it is just all the drugs you take.

      we are after the nukes not the country, no iraq mess in the future.

      March 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • teks

        All the think-tanks say that regular folks over there are positively-inclined towards us, in fact, US favor in Iran (among regular Iranians) tops several of our NATO ally countries. So the most durable way to make sure they stay away from nukes is to support the opposition, covertly, prob with money and intelligence. There is a strong opposition in the country and people tend to forget that the Arab spring started with Persian storm of protests that occurred in 2009 (which the regime brutally stamped our). As far as Quran burning goes, although it seems there are pretty strong nationalistic/pre-islamic movements in Iran, it serves our interest to always distance ourselves from that sort of thing.

        March 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
      • Voice of Reason

        We already do support the opposition, it's called MEK and they really really don't like the Iranian government or Shia in general

        March 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
      • teks

        News flash, the MEK are a maoist movement with religious inclination. If you read up on the subject you see that they have very few supporters among Iranians. They are described as almost like a cult and have been around for long time. In fact we use to help the Shah hunt these people down because of their communist inclination. On top of that, the MEK is on the US state dep Terrorist list. The only reason you heard of them is because they pay to get greedy people from congress to speak in their favor. There is no evidence the US is helping the MEK, Israel however has been helping them out a lot. But their interests does not always coincide with ours.

        March 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  28. Voiceinthewind

    Is he flirting with the "Great Satan" I don't think so because he does not speak to Israhell.

    March 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • crazyvermont

      Perhaps we might take your comment a bit more seriously if you could spell Israel

      March 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  29. BurntheQuaran

    Your going to have to go to war with Iran if your not going to give in to their demands

    March 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  30. Arash Parsi

    Iranian people are less enthusiastic for the prospect of regime making a deal on nuclear issue to avert an attack. For Iranians continuing to live under repressive regime is a slow death experience. Freedom, Democracy, Prosperity and Justice all of them denied by the despotic regime are the most important issues for Iranians.
    Saving Iranian people is not a less worthy cause than saving the Jewish people. and surprisingly both are saved by a Regime Change in Iran. A democratic government in Iran will not pursue a Nuclear Bomb, but will want to keep Nuclear Energy program. US or Israel attack will not solve the problems. A continued crippling sanction will do the job if aimed at Regime Change.
    President Obama of continued harsh sanctions is right policy if aims and result s in Regime Change, but will be deadly wrong if it aims to force the mullahs to sit on negotiating table in order to sign a treaty to purge their Military Nuclear Program and guarantee the survival of the regime. . There is no way, inspectors to be able to discover undeclared digged down nuclear sites. The regime while allowing access to declared or discovered sites will continue the military nuclear work in new undeclared sites and eventually will make the bomb.
    Everything including suffering of Iranian people and western population paying steep prices for oil and gasoline will be wasted if the regime survives. Iranian people will continue to suffer living under the repression and Israelis continue to live under fear of being annihilated.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • trigger_happy

      Point blank: Iranian people are so disgusted with their ruling class that anything which helps this regime to survive another decade is thorn in the eyes.
      70 million people have been trapped underground since 1978.
      Oppressed and deprived from interacting with the world.
      Basic human rights for women or minorities have been taken away by man-made oligarchy and archaic rules.
      Iranian people need a catalyst to create a movement to get rid of these parasites.
      Who wants to sit at the negotiation table to talk to these philistines?

      March 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  31. TDJ

    "Is Iran's Khamenei flirting with the 'Great Satan'?" – Yes, with the one in hell.

    March 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  32. SomeSheep

    Please read this.

    US: Turning war-fear into warfare

    Ever since its creation, the US has had a role to play in combat operations worldwide. Today the country’s public opinion is dominated by warfare, making American society all-too-easily manipulated and turned against practically any country.

    ­The US has a strong record of persuading the public that war is the only way.

    A military industrial complex worth billions of dollars is largely America’s driving force. Deeply rooted in the system, it would serve no purpose if there was no one to fight.

    “If there were no more enemies left, there would be a loss of a sense of mission,” anti-war activist and journalist Don Bebar told RT.

    Serving Americans are on permanent stand-by to deploy to battle zones on command.

    “The US army flag has 183 campaign ribbons on it. Those 183 ribbons each represent wars,” Iraq war veteran Matthis Chiroux from New York shared with RT.

    “When you compare that to the 236 years that we’ve actually been around as a country, you’re talking about a war on average of once every year and three months,” he calculated.

    As a consequence of the American bellicosity in general, Matthis Chiroux is now soothing his nerves in company with 170,000 American soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

    The US always has a bone to pick with one enemy after another. For nearly half a century it was the Soviet Union.

    “The communist threat was the most useful enemy. Where legitimate, and where completely fantastical, it was always available as a global conspiracy against which to justify anything,” Roots Action campaigner David Swanson told RT.

    With the Cold War declared over, the list keeps expanding to smaller antagonists.

    So it was with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991, when then President George H. W. Bush Sr. announced that “Allied forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait.”

    Or with the former Yugoslavia, to which former President Bill Clinton signed a sentence in 1999 by announcing that the American Air Force was conducting “Air strikes against Serbian forces.”

    Then it was ex-President George W. Bush, who was let off the leash after 9/11 terror attacks and announced a global War on Terror symbolized by Al-Qaeda. He started by invading Afghanistan in 2001 and continued with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    In 2003, the US Air Force was “Striking selective targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war,” announced George W. Bush, meaning that waging wars is an exclusive privilege of the chosen mighty ones.

    Ultimately, it has been current President Barack Obama, who was elected on promises to end wars, but now looks forward to military conflict with Iran after lending a hand in toppling the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. As in previous cases, last spring he made a characteristic “We hit Gaddafi’s air defenses” statement on the American TV.

    With a defense budget that surpasses the military expenditure of all other countries combined, no other nation drums up war as consistently as America.

    “While people are still responding and recovering from the violence that’s been committed in one place, or even in the same place, we’re launching new operations and more atrocities in different parts of the world,” acknowledged war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow.

    So Fox News cannot but reiterate that Iran is the biggest threat, Syria is a minor threat, Russia is a traditional threat and China is an emerging threat.

    That makes America's top brass state that a strike on Tehran is in the planning stages.

    It also makes the US President Obama latest quest for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program look derisive in the face of a pending military confrontation.

    Year in, year out, Americans are convinced that the US has to remain on the defensive.

    “We’re petrified of death by terrorism. Shoot, I think a lot of Americans wish we’d spend more money on war,” veteran Matthis Chiroux confessed.

    Finding the next target is never difficult.

    Campaigner David Swanson says “We are inventing the nation of Iran as an enemy, as a threat to the United States, as a possessor of nuclear weapons it does not possess, a nation that has not attacked another in literally centuries, and has no capability or desire to attack ours.”

    RT's Anastasia Churkina asked people on the streets of New York “Which country is the US going to be in a war with next?”

    The most common answer she got was “Iran.”

    The US has been picking and choosing which countries to intervene in for centuries. As the list of nations the US loves to hate expands, the concept that no war at all is also an option seems to have been forgotten.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • manhandler

      Exactly.....Who IS the agressor here? Let me see, the U.S. attacks and occupies two of Afghanistans neighbors and Afghanistan shouldn't be worried about defending itself? Reagan goaded Saadam Hussein into attacking Iran in the Iran-Iraq war and the CIA supplied the poison gas that Saadam used on the Iranians and the Kurds. Tens of thousands of Iranians dead. And Iran should just say "oh, Let bygones be bygones? Iran hasn't attacked any other country in 250 years. How about the U.S? Why is it that the population of this country is so ready to believe Government propaganda without the slighest question. it's just plain stupid.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • Mullah Fullah Bullah

        Iran has been involved behind the scenes in several arenas where there has been war. The West Bank, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan are just a few where they are behind the scenes. They use more guerrilla tactics acting covertly. They have been doing this the last 33 years. So, Iran is not exactly innocent here.

        March 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Do Not Disassemble

      Well written SomeSheep.

      Two things i try to get people to read,
      Brazinskies "The grand chessboard", and
      "Plan for a new American century" (PNAC) written by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others.
      You will never get a Republican supporter to read these, because they think you are attacking thier party.
      The truth is, these people dont give a dang about the party, they are NEOCONS who use the
      Republican label to get into office.

      When the Soviet Union fell the war machine needed a new enemy.
      So they created one, Al Queda, and the stuck a face on it "Bin Laden".
      This time its a "Global" enemy that can be found in many locations.
      Its a never ending war (like playing whack-a-mole)
      when you whack the enemy here, thet turn up there.
      The NEOCONS backed by the Military industrial machine
      have found the perfect enemy, and the never ending war.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Rich in TX

        So in your opinion, if we stop whacking terrorists, they'll stop attacking us? I don't see how that argument can even be grounded in reality.

        March 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  33. bob

    Obama reminds me of Neval Chamberland for all you WWII heads you'll know.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • nse

      Actually, perhaps you should enlighten us. Who is Neval Chamberland?

      March 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • mydogbill

        was running for top dog in england, The told the brits not to worry about the pacifist adolf hitler.

        March 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
      • Rich in TX

        Neville Chamberlain. The spelling was off.

        March 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Replying To Moron

      I'm sure Neville Chamberlain would have loved you misspelling his name. If, presumably, that's who you were talking about.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • sma89

      don't you mean naval chambermaid?

      March 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  34. dissenter

    Sanctions, war, unending rhetoric. None of that is needed. The Stuxnet virus showed, beyond a doubt, that this issue can be solved without loss of life, or any disruption of the lives of everyday Iranians. If the world's majority is insistent on the ending of Iran's nuclear ambitions, they have a way end their research and development.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  35. NorCalMojo

    Iran plays our State department like a fiddle. They really do.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Popeyed

      I thought it was the God Chosen Lobby that specialized in playing our politicians and agencies. Unless....... I in AIPAC stands for Iran. Who knows? Weird things happen all the time.

      March 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • NorCalMojo

      Does Iran have a good negotiator and a bad negotiator or do they have the same diplomats do both acts?

      March 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • mardjan

      sounds like they have a dual track approach of their own.

      March 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  36. dd

    Obama is being played again. The naive corrupt Chicago Democrat doesn't have any common sense and surrounds himself with fools.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • trex

      ..straight from fake news.................another example of CHICKENHAWK fake news

      March 10, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Popeyed

      He didn't fall for the God Chosen Lobby to start another war. Did he? I guess that makes him not so naive. And he did that despite being surrounded by those who want to push America into yet another war to support their foreign agenda. That makes him brrrrrrilllliant!

      March 10, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • manhandler

      Kinda like Osama Bin Laden played him? You right wing loonies are too much. Facts? Who needs facts? Just throw out a load.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Fried Mice

      Obama is just doing what he is told to do.
      Like every other president since Kennedy was removed.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • Iu

        so true. interesting fact, last US president pushing Israel to allow inspections of it's nuclear sites: JFK

        March 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Replying To Moron

      You say "Corrupt Chicago Democrat" as if that's a bad thing. We Chicagoans like our corrupt Democrats, thank you.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • sma89

      naive AND corrupt eh? paradox?

      March 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  37. Talkic Social

    What does it mean? It means more games with the international community while they work towards the bomb.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  38. Dave

    gooney goo hoo

    March 10, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  39. hatehitler

    The world uses Jews as scapegoats. Stop trying to kill them to justify your society's ills. STOP HATING JEWS NOW! http://www.SHJN.org

    March 10, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  40. Marine Forever

    I am proud of Natanyahu who at AIPAC defended his country's interests, who showed no hesitation to ask for more American support, more arms, more aid, who unambiguously said that Israel has a right to defend itself. I wish i could say the same for the US president, presidential candidates, and members of congress who made brash and loose speeches about attacking Iran, ignored what is in the best interest of their country, disregarded the economic cost to the American people, and shamelessly stretched the facts. At least Israelis love their country – unlike American politicians.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Iran isn't attacking

      Israel isn't being directly attacked by Iran. Now don't get me wrong people are attacking Israel, but its not Iran. Not any more so than Israel is attacking interests in Iran covertly or America does in many many nations around the world. But we really can not hold Iran to different standards than the rest of the world. Everyone should be playing by the same rules and the American military isn't open about squat. Additionally if the "Supreme Leader" says Nuclear arms are a sin then even if he doesn't believe it the Iranians who take his word as law will and if they go back on that those are the people he will now have to worry about having said its a sin.

      March 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  41. Skorpio

    Any dialogue with Islam is futile and a waste of time. The ayatollah is buying time to build atomic bombs and have the leverage for negotiations. The ayatollah said it many time in public that he is willing to erase Israel from the map and taking with him anyone in the middle.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  42. krehator

    Bin Laden and Saddam talked tough too.... Where are they now?

    March 10, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Jannai

      They were very successful. US is now a failed state with huge debt. Its national debt will be 24 trillion by 2015.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • DAN

        Wish the worst on others and it will backfire on you!

        March 10, 2012 at 11:51 am |
      • Fried Mice

        ** US is now a failed state with huge debt............

        So ?
        Who is going to make us pay it ?
        Just hit the "delete" key and start over.

        March 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  43. taskmaster

    I compared pictures of Obama and Khamenei and I think theres a strong resemlance.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • krehator

      Thanks for your politically motivated babble.....

      March 10, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • jack

      you are an a s s h o l e !

      March 10, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Duck Dodgers

      resemlance ?

      March 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  44. Tony

    Khamenei will become the Antichrist, if making nuclear weapons .

    March 10, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • DAN

      All Muslim extremists are the anti-Christ! They do not believe He came to save us all!

      March 10, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Duck Dodgers

      Naw, the pope is the aniti christ.
      You can see it in those bloodshot evil eyes.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
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