Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Last week, the US deployed an aircraft carrier – the USS Abraham Lincoln – to the Persian Gulf in a move Iran characterized as “psychological warfare.” The US decision was reportedly made after Israel’s Mossad intelligence services warned about a possible plot by Iran to attack US interests in the Gulf.

Iran’s allegedly “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani has called Israel a “cancerous tumor.” He doubled down by suggesting that Israel was a “fake regime” established by Western countries. This moderate language seems suspiciously similar to the supposedly hard-line Ayatollah Khamenei. It perfectly exemplifies the fine line between moderates and hard-liners in Iran.