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Can Iran's Khamenei rule out ‘national reconciliation’?

Despite his stated skepticism of the idea of national reconciliation, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may in effect be maneuvering to decide the terms of such a reconciliation.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/File Photo - RTX2FG6N

In a speech Feb. 15, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directly addressed the idea of "national reconciliation" brought forward by Reformists over the past weeks.

“Some people talk about national reconciliation; however, that does not make sense to me,” he said. “The people are already united. So why do you talk about reconciliation? Are the people against each other?” This has been a recurring theme in Iran since the contested 2009 presidential election and subsequent protests. Regardless of whether Khamenei opposes national reconciliation, recent history illustrates why he cannot resist some form of it — if he wants Iran to prosper — and the key obstacles that remain to its implementation.

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