Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Wednesday for the highly provocative missile tests condemned by the international community.
“Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors,” declared Khamenei, as reported by Reuters.
The Ayatollah went on to explain that if Iran “seeks negotiations but has no defensive power, it would have to back down against threats from any weak country.”
Reuters interprets this as a broadside against former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has become a leading figure among Iranian “moderates,” and said last week on Twitter that “the future is in dialogue, not missiles.”
It may also be the latest humiliation from Iran directed at President Obama. Iran knows people of President Obama’s mindset have a bottomless appetite for the good-cop, bad-cop theatrics of their “moderates vs. hardliners” struggle, and the more belligerent the hardliners become, the less moderate those “moderates” have to be.
Also, the moderates can count on nearly limitless indulgences from Iran’s adversaries in the West, who imagine themselves playing a great game within Tehran that will someday lead to the final defeat of the hardliners and the birth of a new Iranian government that is far less hostile toward the interests of the United States. Virtually all of President Obama’s disastrous policy in the Middle East has been geared toward this vision of a reformed Iran becoming hegemon over the entire region, putting out the fires outsiders can never seem to extinguish and becoming a reasonably reliable business partner of the Western world.
Khameinei feels obliged to occasionally remind Iranian audiences that real power remains in theocratic hands, and while there may be more profitable openings for business relationships with the outside world in the post-sanctions era, the true power in Tehran has no intention of “moderating” as Obama foreign policy envisions. ICBMs and nuclear weapons are important tangible symbols of Iranian defiance, and the regime rarely misses an opportunity to assert dominance over President Obama, making it clear Iran is the winner of the sanctions showdown.
Fox News proposes that Khamenei’s remarks were “clearly aimed at Western negotiators,” as well as Iran’s “moderate political wing.”
However, Fox notes there was no immediate reaction from the U.S. State Department, which was last heard promising to complain about Iran’s missile tests to the U.N. Security Council.
On Wednesday, Russia’s RT.com news service reiterated Moscow’s legalistic argument that Iran’s missile tests do not technically violate Security Council resolutions, because the U.N. merely “called” on Iran to avoid such missile tests rather than banning them outright and because no one can prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the Iranian missiles can carry nuclear warheads.