Friday, 29 June 2012

The Latest from Iran (29 June): The Pressure Builds

0550 GMT: There has been a notable shift in the rhetoric of the regime's leaders this week. For months, they have been assuring that sanctions were not harming Iran's economy and that it would be the "West" who would feel the effects, as the cut-off of Iranian trade and finance was felt in already-damaged economies in the US and Europe.

However, earlier this week, the Supreme Leader acknowledged the effort to undermine the Islamic Republic, even though he claimed that this would be vanquished:

The main aim of the sanctions imposed by arrogant powers is the Iranian people so that the pressure will cause people to become frustrated and separate from the Islamic establishment. However, by God’s grace, they will fail in this conspiracy as they still do not know our people and officials.

Yesterday Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, the hard-line Tehran Friday Prayer leader and member of the Assembly of Experts, went even farther. He effectively conceded the growing threat of inflation as he told his audience, "Don't complain about the increase in prices; that's what the enemy wants."

Perhaps the most telling signal has been on the diplomatic front. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, visiting Cyprus and Kazakhstan, has been appealing to Europe to work with the Islamic Republic on a settlement of the nuclear issue. And then this news emerged on State media:

In a letter addressed to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday, [chief nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili said the Islamic Republic of Iran is always ready to contribute to initiatives that facilitate successful talks. 

He noted that such talks are only possible in the framework of cooperation, and when they are aimed at winning the trust of the Iranian nation. 

Those who replace logic with illegitimate measures must be held accountable for any harm to the talks, the top Iranian negotiator stated. 

Translation? Pull back the sanctions that are supposedly not affecting the Iranian economy.

The European Union's cut-off of imports of Iranian oil begins in less than 48 hours.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping