While the White House and much of the liberal media are optimistic about an Iran deal, not fully disclosing what goes on in Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today ruled out any cooperation with the United States in the troubled Middle East, saying talks with Washington are confined to nuclear issues. Khamenei also dismissed as “insincere” a near five-minute video address for Nowruz that Obama made to the leaders and people of Iran, in which he urged them to choose opportunity over isolation.
In a closely watched speech marking the Persian new year festival of Nowruz, Khamenei snubbed Obama and took steps to quell speculation that any nuclear deal with the West could lead to a wider rapprochement.
“No way,” he told a raucous crowd in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, on the chances of an agreement on Iran’s atomic programme having other policy implications.
“Negotiations with the United States are on the nuclear issue and nothing else,” he said. His remarks were greeted by chants of “Death to America” from the tightly packed thousands who gathered to hear him speak. Khamenei’s comments appeared to be a blunt rejection of overtures made by US President Barack Obama that a nuclear deal could lead to cooperation in the Middle East, chiefly against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria. With time running out on a March 31 deadline for a political deal, the two sides said they remained at odds as negotiations broke up in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday.
Then we have a top special operations aide to Iran’s leader says his troops are in a global war that will one day bring “the banner of Islam over the White House.” Ali Shirazi is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, the overseas operations branch that trained Iraqi Shiites to kill American troops and is active throughout the Middle East.
The Middle East Media Research Institute said Mr. Shirazi on Feb. 26 spoke at a ceremony attended by the families of Iranian “martyrs” who died fighting overseas. He listed the countries in which Iran’s Shiite Islamic revolution has spread, including Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen. Then he said, “We shall not rest until we raise the flag of Islam over the White House,” according to MEMRI, whose analysts in Washington monitor Islamic extremists.
“Today, in every country we look at worldwide, we see that the love of martyrdom is spreading like wildfire every day,” Mr. Shirazi said. He said more Muslims are embracing the idea of dying for jihad.
“When we look at the Islamic world, we see that the culture of the Islamic Revolution has reached all countries and all Muslims throughout the world,” Mr. Shirazi said. “This is why love of martyrdom is spreading. This has come about thanks to the blood of your [sons], the martyrs.”
Quds Force fighters are now in Iraq along side Iraqi Shiite militias battling the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim terror army. Quds operators also helped Shiites bring down the government in Yemen and are engaged in Syria against various rebels and extremists trying to bring down President Bashar Assad.
President Obama, as his policy is always “dialogue”, has reached out to the Iranian mullahs ruling the country, saying Iran has the potential to be a major regional power. He is close to approving a major nuclear deal that would lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran stopping its effort to one day build atomic weapons.