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Khamenei and Iran’s Difficult Days | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (AFP)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei finally broke his silence and dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s “threats” on missile tests, saying the president “showed the real face of America.”

Khamenei asked the Iranians to respond to Trump’s threats on Friday during the anniversary of the revolution.

“We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” he told an audience of military commanders.

Khamenei’s description of an “easy life” contradicts statements made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

“I believe Trump will push for renegotiation. But Iran and European countries will not accept that,” Zarif told a local daily on Tuesday. “We will have difficult days ahead,” he added.

He added that Iran and other signatories don’t want to reexamine the deal.

So, who should we believe? the Supreme Leader or the Foreign Minister?

We should keep in mind that the Supreme Leader was not friendly in the early stages of the presidency of Barack Obama, who sent letters to Khamenei. But as we all know, things ended with Iran signing the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other western countries.

Today, we are facing a new status quo, after Trump started to issue warnings to Iran.

Probably, the clearest warning came when Trump said that Iranians won’t be receiving the same special treatment they got from Obama. This prompted the Supreme Leader to break his silence by stating that the new president confirmed “what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U.S. ruling system.”

Khamenei’s criticism was directed at the same country which Tehran had signed the nuclear deal with under his blessing.

Therefore, the latest U.S. political statement and those of Khamenei on Washington and Trump suggest the Iranian FM is probably the most accurate on his “difficult days” assessment.

With Trump, things may be easier for the Supreme Leader and the Iranian extremists to continue with their oppression and enforcing more restraints in Iran. But, things definitely won’t be easier politically, economically or militarily for the Iranian regime.

Trump’s stances are not the only hurdle to Tehran, which has to deal with the positions of other countries in the region.

Things are out in the open now, and only few are fooled by Iran as opposed to the situation few years ago, especially before the so-called “Arab Spring.”

There aren’t any real allies for Iran in the region.

Hence, and after the statement of Khamenei, a war of words officially erupted between Tehran and Washington. The countdown for Iran’s tough days began, and who knows! The coming days may reveal Iranian attempts to open backdoor channels with Trump’s administration. Tehran’s loud voice is usually a cover up for a new trick.