Iran: Ya know, that whole "death to America" thing doesn't mean death death

The Daily Beast picked up an article from the Associated Press this week concerning some celebratory activities taking place among our new business partners in Iran. (Thanks, John Kerry!) The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was addressing some students during an important anniversary jubilee and the usual calls of Death to America were filling the air. But now that we’re all warm and friendly with Ali, (can I call you Ali?) he seems to want to put a softer edge on his public persona so he cleared up the widely held misconceptions about what his people mean by that.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that exclamations of “Death to America” refer to dislike for American policies—not an actual wish for the destruction of the country. Khamenei reportedly discussed the slogan while meeting with students for the anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis. The “aim of the slogan is not death to American people,” he said. “The slogan means death to U.S. policies and arrogance.”

See? Don’t you feel silly now for distrusting him and his motives during all those negotiations about their nuclear weapons, er, sorry… power program? They’re not calling for the literal death-death of literal Americans. They just want to destroy our policies, our government and our evil, satanic way of life. No harm no foul! And just for the record, do you know what the celebration was about where he made these remarks? They were preparing for the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979. Man, those government workers over there get a day off for everything, don’t they?

At pretty much the same time, Iran was already threatening to walk out on the ongoing peace talks where 20 countries are allegedly trying to find a way to end the “civil war” in Syria. The reason for their complaint is that the Saudis are there, because the same country where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from is probably just too cozy with the west.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, Iran also just announced that they’ve arrested another American, not that anyone seems to have noticed.

Iranian authorities have arrested an American-Lebanese man who they was linked to the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, state broadcaster IRIB said on Tuesday. It named the man as Nizar Zakka, an IT expert who Lebanese media reported last week had disappeared on Sept. 18 after attending a conference in Tehran.

The report, which cited informed sources, is the first official confirmation of his arrest.

“Nizar Zakka has deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and military establishment,” IRIB quoted an unnamed source as saying.

International politics makes for strange bedfellows and we’re now in bed with the Iranians. Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas, as the saying goes. But hey… at least they’re not really calling for death death to America. It’s a bright new morning in Tehran.