Iran's government is fairly opaque to Westerners, including me. It's a study in contradictions. It's modernized, yet people can be buried in the ground up to their necks for adultery and stoned to death. (Whereas the West devised a more diabolical, far more prolonged method called divorce court.) Iran is a parliamentary democracy, yet its presses tend to be instruments of state propaganda and people can be jailed for saying the wrong thing. (Ummm...oh, never mind.) I'm no Iran-hand, but a statement came from there yesterday, which, considering its source was the Ayatollah Khameini rather than President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, is worth noting:
Hmm. The word "Ayatollah" means "emblem of God." Khameini is an ayatollah who is also the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the closest meaningful translation for his position is "Pope." He's the real moral power, and he interprets and administers the law, whereas Ahmadenijad is merely an elected politician and former mayor of Tehran. So here we have a Pope saying, "Mess with us, and it's going to hurt you bad. And we'll win anyway." Khameini makes statements carefully, and is not given to jollies."The enemies know well that any aggression will lead to a reaction from all sides."
(Tip o' the hat to Larisa Alexandrovna for surfacing this story via At Largely.)