P.S. I hate you

You may have missed the news earlier this week that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter of guidelines to Iranian President Hassan Rohani on the execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). MEMRI’s Y. Carmon and A. Savyon explain: “Intended as an historical document aimed at assuring Iran’s future, the letter was posted on Khamenei’s website in Persian and tweeted from his Twitter account and posted on his Facebook page in English (see Appendices), and published in English by the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting authority IRIB.”

The gist of the letter, according to Carmon and Savyon, is this (emphasis added, footnote omitted): “The set of conditions laid out by Khamenei creates a situation in which not only does the Iranian side refrain from approving the JCPOA, but, with nearly every point, creates a separate obstacle, such that executing the agreement is not possible.” They note that Khamenei’s characterizes the letter as “conditional approval” of the JCPOA and assert that the new conditions constitute late and unilateral additions to the agreement that fundamentally change it.

And then there is this:

It should be further noted that in his introduction to the new conditions, Khamenei attacks the U.S. and President Obama with great hostility, and calls for Obama to be prosecuted by international judiciary institutions. He states that Obama had sent him two letters declaring that he has no intention of subverting the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but adds that the U.S.’s support for fitna in Iran (i.e. the popular post-election unrest in 2009), its monetary aid to opponents of the Republic, and its explicit threats to attack Iran have proven the opposite and have exposed the real intent of America’s leaders, whose enmity towards Iran will not end. He wrote that the Americans’ behavior in the nuclear talks is another link in the chain of its enmity towards Iran, that America entered into the talks with the aim of “deception,” and that therefore Iran must remain alert in light of America’s hostile intentions.

Carmon and Savyon itemize the nine conditions and articulate the implications of each in their analysis. Their analysis is posted under the heading “Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Letter Of Guidelines To President Rohani On JCPOA Sets Nine Conditions Nullifying Original Agreement Announced July 14, 2015.” Reading the letter, Michael Rubin argues that we should “Put Iran to the test.” As Churchill put it, however, “the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.”