This has been reported by Juan Cole. Apparently Supreme Jurisprudent, Ali Khamenei of Iran in a speech to a large number of university students has seriously denounced President Hassan Rouhani for having negotiated the JCPOA nuclear agreement with the United States and other powers. During the negotiations Khamenei played a mixed role, raising doubts about the negotiations, but allowing them to continue and for the agreement to be adopted and implemented. As all know, Iran has until now kept its part of the agreement, whereas President Trump withdrew the US from it and has imposed even more serious economic sanctions on Iran than were there before the agreement, with other powers unable to substantially offset the US actions, even as their governments have continued to nominally support the agreement. Thus, Khamenei has now fully and openly declared that his doubts were correct and that Rouhani was foolish to make the agreement.
This follows the announcement that Iran will begin nominally breaching the agreement by expanding its enrichment of uranium. The violation remains relatively minor at this point, but it is a significant step in any case. With the US raising military pressure, even as Trump says he does not want a war, it seems that this situation is just getting worse with almost nobody making any effort to halt this slide into rising conflict. As it is, Khamenei seems to be preparing his nation for the worst.
The government of Iran certainly can not base its policies on assuming that the US will not attack them; very few people would rate the probability of a US attack as less than 5%. A 5% chance of the kind of massive bombing of military and non-combatant targets that characterizes the American way of warfare requires serious thoughts and actions. There is the problem of strengthening Iran’s position without goading the US into the attack that Iran wants to avoid. Iran’s leadership may not be equal to the task of walking that line. The US could turn down the temperature but does not appear to be interested in eirenic paths.
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