Iran’s Revolutionary Guard leader criticizes Rouhani for taking Obama’s call
posted at 12:39 pm on September 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Kabuki theater or a real split? AFP reports, you decide:
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief said Monday President Hassan Rouhani should have refused a telephone call from his US counterpart, in the first public criticism of the move by a senior official.
Rouhani’s landmark conversation with Barack Obama last week was the first contact between leaders of the two countries since the rupture of diplomatic relations in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“The president took a firm and appropriate position during his stay” in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, General Mohammad Ali Jafari said in an interview with theTasnimnews.com website.
“But just as he refused to meet Obama, he should also have refused to speak with him on the telephone and should have waited for concrete action by the United States.” …
The criticism came despite appeals earlier this month by both Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the Guards, to steer clear of politics.
I’m betting on Kabuki theater. However, this is also a little interesting:
Iran’s president is asking aviation authorities to study the possibility of resuming direct flights between Iran and the United States for the first time in more than three decades. …
The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Akbar Torkan, a senior government official, as saying on Monday that Rouhani wants to study the options of direct flights.
Sounds like Iran is confident of reaching an agreement with Obama and John Kerry, and after seeing what happened with Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad, it’s hard to blame them. It doesn’t necessarily convey that Iran will be honest in its non-proliferation dealings with the US, however.