Now They'll Like Us?
Apparently, the Iranians don't like President-elect Obama as much as America does.
While the US election results and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's congratulatory letter to President-elect Obama have sparked debate among Iranian officials and media about the prospects for improved relations with Washington, media connected to key power centers in Iran, including President Ahmadinejad, have harshly criticized Obama, calling him a "house slave" days before Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qa'ida's second in command, used the same term.
In an 11 November commentary, Borna News Agency, which is close to Ahmadinezhad, called Obama a "house slave," adding that those who "trust such a politician lack maturity, if they are not committing treason" -- a likely reference to Iranian moderates. A day earlier, in an interview with Borna, Ahmadinezhad's press adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr characterized Ahmadinezhad's letter to Obama as a "new political move" and advised Obama "not to make the mistake of not responding."
In an editorial entitled "A Dark Person Rises to Remove Darkness From America," Sobh-e Sadegh, which is published by Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i's representative to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), wrote that "Obama's acceptance of unconditional negotiations with Iran" would signal a "new beginning" only if "coexistence with a nuclear Iran and acceptance of its regional role are part of the US negotiating position." It added that the "appointment of the extremist Jew Rahm Emanuel as the [White House] chief of staff is not a good sign" (10 November).
In an editorial entitled "The Great Satan Masked as Obama," the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said that the "United States is the embodiment of Satan. Hence, in this circus, for anyone but the slaves of Satan to take charge of the government is impossible." It added that Iranians "who are ecstatic about Obama are either ignorant or have a plot [against Iran]" (5 November).