Khamenei’s Tone Has Not Changed “One Iota”

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may present a moderate stance to the outside world, those adopting a hopeful attitude towards a regime that has historically broken many promises do so at their own peril. Rouhani alone cannot change Iran’s agenda, as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei still calls the shots.  

A simple compare/contrast analysis Khamenei’s and Rouhani’s Twitter feeds will illustrate and further confirm that the Rouhani “charm offensive” does not really reflect the true feelings of Iran’s decision maker. In contrast to Rouhani, Khamenei’s tone has not changed to a more moderate tone, as he would say, “one iota”:




June 2013

@HassanRouhani: We don’t want further tension. Both nations need 2 think more about future & try 2 sit down & find solutions to past issues & rectify things.

@Khamenei_ir: Those who think there’s silent opposition forgot that since 30 years a huge population has come to scene chanting “Death to U.S.”

October 2013

@HassanRouhani: While we won’t compromise our independence as a nation, we must maintain our solidarity & peaceful coexistence w/ countries in the world.

@Khamenei_ir: If we are going to find a regime in the world which is evil towards everyone, that regime is the US govt. 10/29/08  #NSA

November 2013

@HassanRouhani: One of the slogans the Iranian nation has embraced is that of "constructive interaction with the world." #IranTalks

@Khamenei_ir: Don’t trust an enemy who smiles on 1 hand, #US smiles & expresses a desire for talks but on the other, they say all options are on the table.

December 2013

@HassanRouhani: We want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect.

@Khamenei_ir: The #US government is #untrustworthy, irrational and a #promise_breaker. 5/10/2013

January 2014

@HassanRouhani: Difficulties exist in US-Iran past, but nothing is impossible. No animosity is to last forever just like no friendship will last forever

@Khamenei_ir: #Iran will tell off the #US before the public for #HumanRights violation.

February 2014

@HassanRouhani: All our neighbors, especially those in the #PersianGulf region, should know that Iran seeks nothing but friendship, engagement & cooperation

‏@Khamenei_ir: Today #US,this satanic oppressive arrogant [power],is determined to swallow the world &expand its dominion in the name of #democracy.

March 2014

@HassanRouhani: This year, we have one important goal w/ respect to domestic & foreign policy: peace, friendship & reconciliation. #ConstructiveEngagement

@Khamenei_ir: #Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and if it has happened, it's uncertain how it has happened.

Clearly, Ayatollah Khamenei’s hostile tone has not waivered since the election of President Rouhani, the reaching of the interim agreement in Geneva, and the months which have followed. If history is any guide, U.S. officials should be highly cautious in pursuing rapprochement with Iran, and in thinking that a new Iranian president means a new “moderate” Iranian agenda.