TEHRAN Irans supreme leader on Saturday publicly endorsed President Hassan Rouhanis efforts to reconcile with archenemy Washington, but indicated his displeasure with some events during Rouhanis high-profile visit last month to the United Nations.
We support the governments diplomatic drive, including the New York trip, because we trust the administration, which is dedicated to serving (the people), and we are optimistic about it, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said at a ceremony Saturday in a speech quoted by Irans Press TV news service.
The comments from Irans ultimate authority were viewed as an important sign that the nations conservative leadership stood behind the new presidents conciliatory approach, despite deep misgivings from hard-liners in Iran.
However, Khamenei said some of the things that happened during the New York trip were not appropriate, because we believe that the U.S. government is untrustworthy, arrogant and irrational, and one that reneges on its promises.
While Irans top leader did not specify what irked him, observers said he was probably referring to the trips defining moment: a dramatic, 15-minute telephone call from President Barack Obama to Rouhani, the highest-level contact between the two nations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the U.S.-backed monarchy. Rouhani promptly blogged news of the call on Twitter, generating headlines across the globe.
The supreme leaders carefully chosen remarks Saturday, analysts said, probably reflect twin goals: to back the Iranian president while mollifying sectors of the countrys power structure deeply suspicious of Washington, mistrustful of Rouhani and opposed to any move toward reconciliation.