Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar said Monday in an interview with CNN that it should not be considered “aggressive” when the Iranian people, including Tehran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, chant “Death To America.”
Ebtekar was described by CNN’s Fred Pleitgen as a “spokesperson for the Iranian students who occupied the U.S. Embassy” in Tehran in 1979. The CNN anchor notably left out that she was a devout follower of the Khomeini regime in Tehran, and that her position as Vice President is largely a figurehead post.
Asking Ebtekar a question about fending off critics of the nuclear negotiations, the CNN anchor, seemingly unfamiliar with the basic political structure of Iran, describes her government as the “Rouhani administration.” While Rouhani serves as Iran’s President, he has no real authority to make decisions in the ongoing nuclear talks with world powers. Everything must be approved by the Tehran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
“Both sides, we do have the radical groups,” said Ebtekar, who believes in Shia Islam’s 12th Imam, an ideology that seeks the death of all non-Muslims and worldwide dominance under the flag of Islam. “We have the radical groups but they’re the minority groups,” she adds.
“How difficult is it for you to stand up to these hardliners?” asks Pleitgen, still not belying any indication that he knows he is speaking with a woman who has been committed for decades to a “hardliner” ideology. “They’re not the majority, but they’re powerful,” he concedes, agreeing to the unsubstantiated talking points promulgated by his guest.
“I think its also part of the Democratic process,” responds Ebtekar. “It is part of the ethical politics we have to pursue as part of a religious democracy,” she adds.
“Isn’t it time for Iran to tone down the rhetoric a little bit?” asks Pleitgen. He adds, “You were at this military parade. You hear the ‘Death to America, Death to Israel’ chants. Isn’t it time to tone that down a little bit as well?”
“Its very evident that the Iranian nation feels that they need to be ready to defend themselves,” responds the Iranian VP. “Its a sign of necessity to defend the country. There’s no aggressive tone,” asserts Ebtekar.