In a rare move likely at the suggestion of an adviser to hit back at Trump for violating the terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, posted a photo of himself on Instagram reading Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.”
The tell-all book caused a political firestorm for the White House, and surged to the top of national best-seller lists across the country. The bombshell book outlined such revelations including Bannon’s incendiary comments about the president, Trump’s qualms with certain members of his administration, and a slew of misogynistic, derogatory and downright bizarre claims.
Given the PR disaster that was Fire & Fury, the fact that Khamenei posed with and posted it online is most certainly a dig at the president. Days ago, Trump – in a blatant, shameful, and continued attempt to further erase Obama’s legacy – opted to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the international agreement, in which the U.S. eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for assurances of denuclearization.
The decision, then, not only violated the pact’s terms but rendered the U.S. an unreliable diplomatic partner on the world stage. The move can and will have far reaching implications, including on North Korea, with whom the United States is entering into agreement as an effort to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula. If the U.S. has shown that its prior agreements could get upended by the whims of a subsequent president, what confidence will countries have in negotiating future pacts?
Ayatollah Khamenei is by no means a figure worth celebrating, but the fact that he knows he can effectively target our insecure president via such juvenile means is a serious issue, as well as a sad testament to the time we live in.