Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday lashed out at Germany, the U.K. and France, calling them the “footmen of the U.S.,” days after the European countries moved to sanction the Islamic Republic for violating the controversial 2015 nuclear deal.
“The threat of the French & German govts & the vicious British govt to send Iran’s case to the Security Council proved once again that they are the footmen of the US,” Khamenei said on Twitter. “These 3 countries are the ones who helped [former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein] as much as they could in his war against us.”
…He appeared to mock Trump and others who had backed the protesters marching in the streets against Khamenei, dismissing “these American clowns who falsely and despicably say that they are standing with the Iranian people.”
“You are lying,” he said. “If you do stand with the Iranian people it is because you want to stick your poisoned dagger into the back of the Iranian nation. Of course you haven’t been able to do that so far, and you won’t be able to do a damn thing.”
In the last decade, three times the Iranian people have gone to the streets in mass. Multiple millions of protesters risking their lives against a tyrannical regime. The Iranian population is much more educated than many other Muslim-majority countries. The people are well aware of the world situation. They obviously desire a democratic government that intends to economically advance Iran improving the quality of their lives.
They know that the Mullahs will never allow this but continue to foment dangerous conflicts that disrupt Iran’s future. Of course, between the Mullahs and the people is the military establishment. They have so far gambled that the far superior military forces aligned against Iran will not be used. They participate in the repression of their own people and a foreign policy of aggression through both proxies and open attacks such as on the Saudi oil fields and in the Strait of Hormuz.
Meanwhile, Trump has been playing a slow game of increasing pressure. Instead of overreacting to their provocations he ratchets up the pressure through increasingly tight financial sanctions and additional military allies and assets available. The killing of Soleimani is a symbolic move that will make it clear to the Iranian military that anything is now possible in terms of military force brought against them. Khamenei’s saber-rattling and insults sound increasingly hollow. At some point, this regime will crack. We may not be there yet but we are getting very close.