It is frequently difficult sometimes to ascertain exactly who is in charge of Iran due to the split between official government leaders and religious figures who also hold power. Several days ago, Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaii expressed the view his nation had no quarrel with the people of Israel or of the United States as contrasted with disagreements with their governments. “Iran is friends with the Israeli people” although it opposes the Zionist regime, and he referred to the people of the United States as “one of the best nations in the world.” The vice president emphasized, “Iran is friends with the American and Israel people. No nation in the world is our enemy, this is an honor.”
His words caused the Majiis Speaker, Ali Larijani to blast these words as contrary to Iranian policy and urged diplomats of his nation to be careful when speaking on foreign policy issues. He emphasized, “people who live in Israel are either Palestinians or those who have occupied the region, with whom Iran is not friends.” Larijani told Iranian diplomats, Americans were just like other countries and “we should neither belittle them nor over compliment them.”
Between remarks made by President Ahmadinejad and his vice president and the speaker of the Iranian parliament it is difficult knowing what to believe is Iranian foreign policy.