Iran’s supreme leader criticizes Rouhani for chatting with Obama

posted at 10:01 am on October 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

New Iranian president Hassan Rouhani got a reminder of who’s really in charge of Iran today, as well as a public rebuke for picking up the phone when Barack Obama called.  While supreme leader Ali Khameini endorsed Rouhani’s diplomatic initiative with the US, he scolded Rouhani for taking actions that were “not appropriate.” We can assume this doesn’t refer to tipping the waitress at the hotel during the UN conference:

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Saturday criticised some aspects of President Hassan Rouhani’s landmark UN visit in which he spoke to his US counterpart but voiced broad support.

The comments were the first public response by Khamenei, who wields ultimate authority in Iran, to Rouhani’s overtures to the West in New York last week, which were capped by a historic 15-minute telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama.

“We support the diplomatic initiative of the government and attach importance to its activities in this trip,” Khamenei told military commanders and graduating cadets in remarks reported by his website, Khamenei.ir.

However he added — without elaborating — that “some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate.”

Rouhani has been roasted by hard-liners since taking Obama’s call in New York. Khameini, who belongs to that faction anyway, needed to make sure that Rouhani isn’t taking his supposed reformer credentials too seriously. And in another reminder to Rouhani about the view of the mullahcracy, Khameini made sure that the “Death to America” part of Friday prayers continued right on schedule:

Iranians chanted “Death to America” and burned the U.S. flag after weekly prayers in Tehran on Friday despite their new president’s outreach to the West and promises of moderation and easing of tensions with the outside world.

The chants, customary after Friday services in the Iranian capital, reflect the challenges facing President Hassan Rouhani as he tries to build on the groundbreaking exchanges with Washington that included a telephone chat last week with President Barack Obama – a gesture aimed at ending three decades of estrangement between the two countries.

Rouhani’s overtures have been hailed by both Iranian reformists and the country’s conservative clerical leadership.

Really? Not all of his overtures, obviously, and not by the cleric that counts most. Just in case anyone didn’t get the spirit of the regularly-scheduled anti-US chants, the emcee made sure everyone knew it was still on the playbill:

During prayers Friday in Tehran, the master-of-ceremonies led the crowd into chants of “Death to America” at least twice from the podium.

The chant was then repeated several times by a group of worshippers who rallied after the ceremony, burning the American and Israeli flags, as they do almost every week.

That’s what the clerics say to Iranians, while they say this to Western media:

However, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi, a cleric who led the prayers, tried to strike middle ground, saying that America and Iran should “join hands” in a struggle to overcome sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

How about this: we’ll take you seriously when the “Death to America” chants stop being part of your prayer services.  That tends to put a couple of dents in your credibility, mm-kay?  And it’s a little difficult to join hands when your dictator-for-life publicly scolds your president for just taking a phone call.  What would Khameini have said if Rouhani and Obama had “join[ed] hands”? Awkward!


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How about this: we’ll take you seriously when the “Death to America” chants stop being part of your prayer services. That tends to put a couple of dents in your credibility, mm-kay? And it’s a little difficult to join hands when your dictator-for-life publicly scolds your president for just taking a phone call.

This “we” you speak of, I don’t think it includes Comrade O and JF’n Kerry. For the next three years or so that may be all that matters.

farsighted on October 5, 2013 at 10:12 AM

So why don’t the two just mutually behead each other??

Sherman1864 on October 5, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Rouhani has been roasted by hard-liners since taking Obama’s call in New York.

Don’t you just love political theater?

Just like Pelosi saying that Obama is “bipartisan”.

GarandFan on October 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Sounds like “good cop- bad cop” to me.

The question is, what are they after? Us lifting sanctions? Just buying time to complete their A-bomb project?

Or are they seriously believing that an “arrangement” can be made wherein they destroy Israel, and we acquiesce to it?

With this Administration, nothing can be ruled out- if our leaders hew to their principle of “our friends are not the same as America’s friends”.

They seek out those they perceive as closer to them in worldview. Unfortunately, from all indications, that doesn’t include us, or the Israelis.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I hereby issue a fatwa against the mullahs.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan was a commander overseeing Hezbollah forces in Lebanon in 1983 when the U.S. Marine barracks in Beruit were bombed and has now been “nominated to be defense minister by Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani.”

Akzed on October 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Q. What’s the difference between Rouhani and John Boehner?

A. Rouhani actually gets to talk with Obama.

Khun Joe on October 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Looks like Lucy has gone international.

OldEnglish on October 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Iranians chanted “Death to America” and burned the U.S. flag after weekly prayers in Tehran on Friday despite their new president’s outreach to the West and promises of moderation and easing of tensions with the outside world.

Religion of Peace? Sounds pretty violent to me. But then again Ed and his family hold “Death to Presbyterians” chants after mass and draw insulting cartoons of John Calvin while burning the flag of that congregation. /s

simkeith on October 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Sort of o/t…

From Mark Steyn:

I gotta say “Face The Nation” and “Meet The Press” would benefit from a little of this. Syrian pundit Dr Akram Makkana and Free Syrian Army political coordinator Luay al-Miqdad discuss the Assad chemical weapons deal on al-Jadeed TV:

Mr AL-MIQDAD: That criminal Bashar al-Assad would even hand over his wife to remain in power…

Dr MAKKANA: You would hand over your mother and sister, you filthy pimp… You are scum with no honor. You were born of Israeli semen.

EMBARRASSED HOST: Please. Some expressions you can’t use…

“Born of Israeli semen”? As they say in Europe, it’s not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist.

Resist We Much on October 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Meh. Kabuki theater. Rouhani is simply playing “good cop” to Khameni’s bad cop. Botha are still part of team nuclear Iran.

rbj on October 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

As American traditions erode the Iranians stand strong with their Friday post-prayer Death to America chants. Now there’s some people you can deal with.

Mason on October 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Wonder how many emails and messages Obama and Kerry send to Hassan Rouhani each day?

Obama is getting rope-a-doped again, he just doesn’t to see it or admit it.

albill on October 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Iran’s supreme leader criticizes Rouhani for chatting with Obama USA’s supreme leader.

Fixed.

bgibbs1000 on October 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Iran’s supreme leader criticizes Rouhani for chatting with Obama

Well, duh. It’s because he’s Shia and Obama is Sunni.

locomotivebreath1901 on October 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Death to America. Ho-hum. Time to come up with something new. How about congenital Herpes to America?

John the Libertarian on October 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Iran’s supreme leader criticizes Rouhani for chatting with Obama

…did he rub his diaper?

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Ya gotta love these guys. .

TimBuk3 on October 6, 2013 at 11:43 AM

ANY foreign leader that speaks to a servant of the Mullah’s, in this case their assigned President, as an equal,has placed themselves BELOW the Mullah’s level of authority.

This article is actually about the Ayatolla’s pointing out that Obama has made himself, and the Office of the President of the US, subservient to the Mullah’s in Iran.

Much of the western media, as well as the Obama administration, do not understand how a theocracy works.

Freddy on October 7, 2013 at 5:22 AM