Tomorrow marks the 32nd anniversary of the Iranian seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. To mark the occasion, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei today addressed students. Alas, neither two letters, nor his silence during Iran’s 2009 election unrest, nor even Obama’s unilateral surrender of Iraq has managed to convince Khamenei to unclench his fist. Here is what Khamenei had to say: “The United States is now defeated in Afghanistan and in Iraq and has no other way but leaving these two countries, just as it has been defeated in North Africa….”
Certainly, Khamenei does not appear to take the United States seriously. Under such circumstances, arguing about how many Revolutionary Guard commanders to sanction is silly. And it is farcical to believe that the Iranian leadership has understood that nuclear proliferation and sponsorship of terrorism is unacceptable. No strategy can change Khamenei’s mind unless it is truly biting. The time to sanction Iran’s Central Bank is now.