In his April 1 op-ed column, “The value of talking to Iran,” David Ignatius claimed that “the nation that chanted in unison ‘Death to America’ is probably gone forever.” Yet Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “death to America” on March 21, the day after President Obama spoke to the Iranian nation on the Persian New Year asking it to seize this “historic opportunity.”
Mr. Ignatius also opined, “Obama crafted sticks, as well as carrots” in dealing with Iran. This administration talking point doesn’t square with the unambiguous reality that the president and his administration were against additional sanctions. As for the next supreme leader, two weeks ago the Assembly of Experts, which will choose the next leader, elected Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, considered an extreme hard-liner, as its chairman.
I guess the weekly chants of “death to America” will continue, despite the Iranian population’s desire to be free of the tyranny of its government.
Eric R. Mandel, New York
The writer is director of the Middle East Political and Information Network.