As Senate Democrats continue to filibuster a vote on the Iran deal, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released an agitprop video (see below) threatening the U.S. if it attacks the Islamic Republic. Calling America “invading” and “criminal,” the video portrays a confident Iran on the brink of world favor and economic revival.
One can only assume the Islamic Republic is gleefully watching the political machinations of the impotent U.S. Congress, which is opposed to the deal but unable to stop it. Even Tehran's jabs at U.S. President Barack Obama are fair game. Iran has seen despite its previous provocations, the president’s support for the deal is unwavering.
The video, titled If Any War Happens and released by the Ayatollah’s Twitter handle “Khamenei.ir,” begins with footage of Obama (whom the narrator calls a “U.S. official”) saying, “We can knock out their military with speed and dispatch, if we chose to …”
The rest of the minute and a half video, which apes the Islamic State’s slick and trendy style, disproves this statement by labelling it as “boasting among strangers.”
From Hezbollah’s “victory” in the 2006 war against Israel (read: Iran's war against America) to a simulation of Iranian missiles blowing up a U.S. navy aircraft carrier, Khamenei threatens that the U.S. will “emerge humiliated” from any war with the Islamic Republic.
The video shows Khamenei addressing thousands of Iranian troops marching in formation, saying “We neither welcome nor begin any war.” It then cuts immediately to Iranian missiles raining down on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and after a scene of U.S. soldiers in Iraq carrying a flag-draped coffin.
Both are seemingly a reference to the statistic released in July that at least 500 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq were directly linked to Iran.
At the same time, Iran’s volunteer militia, the Basij, installed giant banners in Tehran, showing an hourglass depicting the destruction of Israel in 25 years. Acting on Khamenei’s recent speech that Israel will be destroyed in that amount of time, the banners depict a Jewish star (found on the Israeli flag) being slowly drowned over two-and-a-half decades by water dripping from the top half of the hourglass.
But business carries on as usual. Addressing the French parliament yesterday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has accepted an invitation to visit France in November. The invitation was delivered by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius when he visited Iran in July.
While French President Francois Hollande says he will meet with Rouhani about the situation in Syria because "Tehran must weigh in positively in favor of a political solution," it is clear that business deals will be a priority of the visit. Just last week, the Associated Press reported an Iranian tourism company signed an agreement with a French hotel chain, inaugurating the first of many deals to be expected after the U.N. signed off on the Iran deal.
As world acceptance breathes new life into the bankrupt Islamist regime, we can expect more bluster. But behind the threats, lies a fanatical regime that doesn’t view economic prosperity and world peace as its “happily ever after.”
As history has most recently shown us through the rise and deeds of the Islamic State, Islamist totalitarians are not bluffing.
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org