U.S. President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary evoked conflicting responses in Iran. Regime circles expressed indifference or even contempt, and said that any purported change in U.S. policy would have to be demonstrated through actions rather than nominations. On the other hand, reformist circles, which lack representation within the regime, continued their efforts to push for a compromise in the matter of Iran's nuclear program, and called on the Iranian leadership to take advantage of Hagel's nomination – as well as the nomination of John Kerry for U.S. secretary of state – which they saw as a gesture by Obama towards the Iranian regime.
This report presents the position of reformist circles in Iran that are pressuring the regime to compromise with the West on its nuclear issue, and the uncompromising position of the regime, which sets policy, in official statements and in images expressing anti-Obama sentiment.
Iran Diplomacy Website: Hagel And Kerry Nominations – Both Opportunity And Threat For Iran
On January 16, 2013, the reformist website Iran Diplomacy, which is identified with foreign ministry officials from the reformist administration of Mohammad Khatami, claimed that President Obama had nominated Chuck Hagel and John Kerry with an eye to giving Iran the best possible deal regarding its nuclear program. The website warned that if Tehran rejected such a deal, it would only make it easier for Obama to rally world opinion for an attack on Iran. The following are excerpts from the article:
"The new [U.S.] national security and foreign policy team... gives top priority to the Iranian issue. Obama built this team in order to create the best conditions for proposing a settlement with Iran. At the same time, this group is [also] considered the ideal apparatus [for consolidating world opinion against Iran], since, in the case of failed negotiations, the [U.S.] administration may opt for military action, [claiming that its] statesmen have been left with no other choice.
"This team is led by John Kerry, who has been nominated to the office of U.S. secretary of state, and it is directed by Chuck Hagel, the proposed defense secretary. They are both known for their cautious approach and for distancing themselves from warmongering...
"The next American administration is expected to exert every diplomatic effort to reach a comprehensive deal with Iran on the outstanding issues. Obama is trying to show Iran and the world that that this team of foreign policy makers is the least dangerous... in terms of warmongering. Iran too is already cautiously supportive of Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary.
"The message being sent to Tehran is clear: This team seeks to reach an agreement [with Iran], and whatever proposal it suggests will be the best resolution you can attain, [so] seize this opportunity. But at the same time, the [U.S.] administration is committed to preventing Tehran from attaining nuclear weapons. It should be noted that Hagel said recently that the military option against Iran has not been taken off the table. The hidden message in this declaration is that a military operation against Iran is possible, and that it would be carried out by the U.S., not by Israel. If this option becomes inescapable, the American people and the international community will be informed that the decision [to attack Iran] was made by a team that had no other choice...
"Obama's new foreign policy and national security team is [essentially] a cabinet on Iran, created to reach a decision on Iran's nuclear dossier – [whether a decision of] war or of peace. Tehran must see this as [both] an opportunity and a threat..."
Tehran: We Await Actions, Not Declarations Or Nominations
The Iranian regime's stance, on the other hand, remains unchanged. Tehran has reiterated statements to the effect that it awaits actions rather than declarations or nominations. The deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, said: "While it is true that there are individuals in the American administration that are appealing [for us], we have no faith in its senior officials. [Certain] American individuals may be appealing, but... we do not look at specific people...
"History has taught us that the U.S. has a system of thinking and policy that does not change, regardless of [specific] figures... We have learned that there are many contradictions and conflicts between the [Americans'] declarations and their deeds, and we determine our policy accordingly... Iran does not, and never will, have any faith in the declarations of American senior officials until change occurs in practice."
Similarly, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that Tehran "hopes that there will be practical changes in U.S. foreign policy."
The daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, claimed that although President Obama was elected under the slogan of "change," and had, in a letter to Khamenei, even expressed willingness to turn over a new leaf in U.S.-Iran relations based on ending hostility between the two countries, he did not act on these declarations. Instead, it said, shortly after his election in 2008, Obama personally set off the elections protests in June 2009 in Iran, with the help of European and Arab collaborators and leaders of the Iranian reform movement.
Kayhan stressed: "The nominations of Kerry and Hagel... is more of a domestic American issue than anything else. Despite the propaganda, these [nominations] have nothing to do with Iran... In its confrontation with Iran, the U.S. knows only one way – that is, escalating the sanctions – and this policy will [continue to] be implemented – whether by Kerry, or by Hagel... or by Clinton."
Recent Regime Expressions Of Anti-Obama Sentiment In Iran
Obama lying during his swearing-in ceremony, under the influence of his satanic Jewish advisors
Regime banner in central Tehran defaming Obama, depicting him next to the evil military commander Shemr.Shemr, a despised figure in Shi'a tradition, killed the beloved Imam Hussein at the seventh-century Battle of Karbala. The banner reads in Persian "Ba Ma Bash" – "Be With Us and Be Safe" – and is a play on Obama's name. The message conveyed by pairing Shemr with another Hussein – that is, Barack Hussein Obama – is that any Iranian who trusts Obama is a traitor, because he follows the enemy of the Shi'a.