Khamenei’s words today come as both the Iranians and P5+1 group – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany – have signaled that they will resume nuclear talks in coming weeks for the first time in a year.
The board of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna today declared that those talks needed to be “serious” and yield “concrete results,” after two IAEA expert visits to Iran last month failed to make progress on outstanding questions about possible nuclear weapons-related work by Iran.
But the most critical recent event inside Iran was the parliamentary elections. Despite boycotts of the vote, the banning of one-third of potential candidates, and the continued house arrest of opposition leaders, the Islamic regime claimed a renewed legitimacy after the star-crossed 2009 presidential election, streets protests, and violent crackdown.
Farideh Farhi, an Iran specialist at the University of Hawaii, suggested to the Monitor this week that the regime may try to translate claims of an “epic” election victory against “enemies” into an easing of Iran’s “paranoia” in dealing with what it calls the opposition “sedition” at home, and in nuclear moves with the West.