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Ayatollah Khamenei praises Obama

Published time: March 08, 2012 17:16
Edited time: March 08, 2012 21:42
A handout photo provided by the office of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him addressing a meeting with members of the Assembley of Experts in Tehran on March 8, 2012 (AFP Photo)

A handout photo provided by the office of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him addressing a meeting with members of the Assembley of Experts in Tehran on March 8, 2012 (AFP Photo)

Israel may be at odds with the Obama White House over Washington’s hesitance to sign off on a strike against Iran, but overseas America has found support in an unusual fair-weather friend: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest authority figure within the Islamic Republic of Iran, is publically applauding US President Barack Obama over the American commander-in-chief’s insistence in postponing any military pressure overseas. Although Israel and America have both expressed concern over the possibility of a nuclear warhead procurement program in Iran, President Obama has insisted on relying on diplomatic sanctions to squash any WMD projects, much to the chagrin of trigger-happy Israelis and the president’s Republican Party rivals.

Both Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were in Washington this week to discuss, among other things, the impeding problem of an Iranian threat. Although Jerusalem continues to seek justification for a joint strike on Iran, the White House has been hesitant to formally endorse any military action. Responding to this reluctance that has served as fodder for Obama’s GOP rivals, Ayatollah Khamenei is now stressing his support over the United States’ handling of what some say is only an imminent war.

Discussing Obama’s insistence on relying on sanctions over strikes, Khamenei was quoted on his website this week as saying that “This talk is good talk and shows an exit from illusion.” Conservative American leaders have thrown their weight behind backing Israel over any chance of an Iranian threat, and although Barack Obama has appeared to be close to buckling to both GOP and Israeli pressure as of late, he has yet to formally full-on support a military strike. On Tuesday, Obama even added that there was indeed still a “window” for diplomacy in regards to wrangling out a deal with Tehran.

Although Khamenei applauded Obama over his lack of aggressiveness, he adds, “But the US president continued saying that he wants to make the Iranian people kneel through sanctions, this part of this speech shows the continuation of illusion in this issue.”

Obama has previously gone on the record to say “crippling sanctions” against Iran would eventually force the country to reconsider any alternative energy plan that could put a nuke in the hands of the country’s leaders. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a frontrunner in the contest to usurp Obama from the Oval Office, recently, said that despite the president’s pleas, current diplomatic efforts were failing.

According to Romney, Obama has “failed to put into place crippling sanctions against Iran,” and speaking from Georgia last week added, "He's also failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand. And that it's unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

"I will have those military options, I will take those crippling sanctions and put them into place, and I will speak out to the Iranian people of the peril of them becoming nuclear. It's pretty straight-forward in my view,” added Romney.

On Thursday, Israeli intelligence sources speaking with Reuters leaked that Israel’s PM Netanyahu asked President Obama for the United States’ patented “bunker-buster” bombs during their discussions in Washington this week. Both leaders were among the speakers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, conference in the US capital.

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