This extends a comment I made here.
A defector from the Iranian regime has claimed that Westerners persistently fail to understand the regime because they do not get that it means what it says.
One of the things that helped Hitler a great deal is lots of people did not believe he really meant all that "nonsense" about lebensraum and argued he was just a "normal" German leader manoeuvring in normal ways for diplomatic advantage. The people who got it right were the ones who worked out that he did mean what he said and that his actions matched his words.
The actions of the Iranian regime match its words. As with Hitler, there is lots of stuff that looks like "normal" diplomatic manoeuvring and then there are the extra bits.
When you look at the regime’s rhetoric, it is not staking negotiable claims, it is not connecting to general political sentiments, it is communicating justifying all-trumping purpose to supporters. That is the sort of rhetoric to be worried about.
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