Iran

Khamenei Forbids Future President From Making Concessions to West

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei this week ordered that the country’s next president not make any concessions to the West. None:

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Tuesday that the country’s next president should avoid making “concessions” to the west, saying this would not diffuse tensions over Tehran’s nuclear drive… “Some [candidates] have the wrong analysis that by giving concessions to enemies, their anger towards Iran will be reduced,” Khamenei said in a live televised speech. “This is a mistake.”… He also said Iran must build up its “national might” against Western hostility.

The eight candidates are vying in the upcoming June 14 election to replace sitting president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Some 680 Iranians applied to run for the presidency, and all but the current eight were purged from the rollsby Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council.

The approved candidates then rushed to establish their hard-line bona fides with regards to Iran’s nuclear program. Their positions on the issue don’t ultimately determine Iran’s stance – the country’s negotiating posture is set directly by  Khamenei – but the rhetoric and positioning was taken by analysts as confirmation that Tehran will retain its hard-line approach to talks. The dynamic, coupled with Khamenei’s speech, will likely undermine foreign policy analysis suggesting that Tehran might moderate its demands in the aftermath of the election.

Analysis to the contrary – which asserted that the election would be taken as an opportunity by Iranian leaders to moderate – had been prominently used by some diplomats to urge policymakers to hold off imposing pressure on Iran until after the balloting.

[Photo: DragonFire1024 / Wiki Commons]