Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Is Iran's Rafsanjani sending Obama a message?

Via the Financial Times,

Comments by a former Iranian president and pillar of the country's political establishment have shone a light on possible disagreements within the country's elite over its support for President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

 

In a hotly disputed statement posted on the internet, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's former president, accused Mr Assad's government of using chemical weapons against the Syrian people in what analysts saw as a warning to the government to rethink its support for its main Arab ally.
"God bless the people of Syria . . . they were subjected to chemical weapons by their own government and now they have to expect a foreign invasion," Mr Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, said last week at an event in the northern province of Mazandaran.
 
The remarks, quoted by the semi-official ILNA news agency, sparked an uproar in Iran, where officials have accused Mr Assad's opponents of being behind the attack.
 
They were quickly scrubbed from the news website. Later, Marzieh Afkham, Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman, denied the comments, saying they were "distorted".
 

But an audio recording that appeared on Tuesday confirmed Mr Rafsanjani's accusation that the Assad regime had launched chemical attacks against the Syrian people, a view shared by the US, Britain and France.

Iran and Syria fought each other with First World War tactics and the butcher's bill was in the millions.  Maybe some in Teheran have had their fill of Assad too (or fear the US entering the fray) and Rafsanjan's slipped a signal here.

 

Not sure many paying attention to Iran though.  At least in the chatter on Congress's deliberations.  That's sad 'cause Iran's the big player and Assad's sponser.  If they've had enough, we ought to reach out.

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