TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran stepped up its warnings to the United States Thursday, with the nation's supreme leader saying Tehran will strike U.S. interests around the world if his country is attacked.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's words "...the enemy knows." Those are strong words, but they're nothing new. Since 1979, one Ayatollah after the other has shaken his fist at the United States. They have no problem naming the US as the enemy or the "Great Satan" in contrast to the west where we can hardly name any enemy except the "terrorists."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's words were also likely meant as a show of toughness to rally Iranians, who are increasingly worried about the possibility of American military action as the two countries' standoff has grown more tense.
Days earlier, an Iranian diplomat was detained in Iraq in an incident that Iran blamed on America. The United States denied any role. The U.S. also says it has no plans to strike Iran militarily, but has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to show strength in the face of rising Iranian regional influence.
But many in Iran say they fear attack. Iranian media and Web sites have almost daily commentaries on a possible U.S. attack - some of them blaming hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the deterioration in the already sour U.S.-Iranian relations by his provocative rhetoric against America and Israel.
Speaking to Iranian air force commanders, Khamenei said: "The enemy knows well that any invasion would be followed by a comprehensive reaction to the invaders and their interests all over the world." His words were carried on state-run TV.
The second news article was about the Europeans complaining that the US is "twisting their arms" about their financial dealings with Iran. They don't want to give up a single Euro, no matter how dirty it is.
We don't know where this is all going but it's a safe bet that we ignore it at our peril just as we ignored Osama bin Laden's escalations until September 11. The world is sleep walking; oblivious to the danger which comes from both branches of the RoP.