Khamenei praises Obama for calming war drums

Iran's supreme leader criticizes the US president's call for continued sanctions against the Islamic Republic; Obama warned against the "casualness" of talk about possible military action.

March 8, 2012 13:13
1 minute read.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 311 (R). (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Thursday praised US President Barack Obama for recent remarks in which he warned against "beating the drums of war."

Calling Obama's statement good, and a "departure from the illusion," Khamenei nonetheless criticized the US president for his steadfast advocacy of continued sanctions against Iran. It is a mistake to think Iran can be brought to its knees, Khamenei told a gathering of the clerical council, the Assembly of Experts.

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At a White House press conference Tuesday on the heels of the AIPAC conference, Obama warned against the “casualness” of talk of possible military action and American politicians’ “beating the drums of war,” saying those who speak so loosely should consider the consequences of their words.

There would be consequences for the United States as well as Israel if a premature strike is launched on Iran, he added.

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“There is a cost,” Obama said, recalling visits to the Walter Reed veterans hospital and condolence letters he sends to families.

“Sometimes we bear that cost, but we think it through,” he continued. “We don’t play politics with it. When we have in the past, when we haven’t thought it through and it gets wrapped up in politics, we make mistakes.”

Hilary Lelia Krieger in Washington contributed to this report.

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