Iran offers rare praise for ‘the Great Satan’

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directed rare praise at the United States, welcoming a speech by President Obama that aimed to cool war rhetoric surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.

By Scott Peterson, 

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (l.) delivers a speech during his meeting with members of Experts Assembly in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, March 8. Iran’s top leader Thursday welcomed comments by US President Obama advocating diplomacy and not war as a solution to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, a rare positive signal in long-standing hostile transactions between Tehran and Washington.

“This talk is good talk and shows an exit from illusion,” Ayatollah Khamenei told Iran’s Assembly of Experts, a senior clerical body, according to a translation byAgence France-Presse. “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.”

Khamenei’s rare and unexpected praise of Mr. Obama may be a first signal of an easing of the paranoia that has gripped the Iranian regime since a popular uprising erupted after elections in 2009. The Islamic Republic proclaimed a “victory” in parliamentary elections last week, declaring an official 64 percent turnout critical to internal security and legitimacy. entire article at source