Polls show that voters are realistic about the Islamic Republic’s intentions. Or, at least, more realistic than our secretary of State.
At a Tehran mosque last week, the Ayatollah Khamenei—amid chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”—explained to a crowd that his nation’s interests were “180 degrees” in opposition to the United States. “Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change,” he explained.
This vexed John Kerry, who claimed that he didn’t “know how to interpret” this kind of predictable antagonism from one of American’s longest-running adversaries.
What can it all possibly mean?
Perhaps the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic does not feel compelled to indulge in American fairytale endings? Khamenei knows there is almost no way sanctions will return, even if he cheats. He understands his nation will be poised to have nuclear weapons in a decade, at the latest. Few people, even advocates of the P5+1 deal, argue we can stop the mullahs in the long run. Best-case scenario, as Fred Kaplan contends in Slate, is that the Islamic regime will get bored of hating us and join the community of nations.
Speaking of wishful thinking, I suspect many Americans are less confused about Iran’s intentions than our gullible secretary of State, even if they support a deal for partisan reasons. Take a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that tells us a couple of things—neither of those things what fans of the deal purpose. Americans, even if they don’t know much about foreign affairs, much less grasp the intricacies of this Iranian deal, intuitively understand the Islamic Republic better than Kerry.
Here’s the first question in the poll: