Less than a week after ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared, “compromise can be more costly than challenging” adversaries, President Hassan Rouhani has indirectly replied, saying, peace is harder than conflict.
“Forbearance of peace is more difficult than warring” and “peace with enemies” needs a lot of courage, Rouhani said.
Speaking on Saturday, June 10, Rouhani also added, “Meek patience for the sake of peace is more difficult than stamina and perseverance on the battlefield”.
Making a reference to “drinking the chalice of poison” attributed to ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, when he accepted peace at the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Rouhani said, “Self-sacrifice and bravery on battlefield are hard, but peace is much harder than fighting”.
Rouhani also added, “It needs a lot of courage to extend a hand of peace to the enemy for the interests of the Islamic polity”.
These statements directly contradict Khamenei’s statement last week regarding “compromise with enemies”.
On June 4, Khamenei in a speech at ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum said, “Challenging the great powers is costly but compromising with them has its own costs, as well.”
In the same speech, the Supreme Leader also had a message for Rouhani. “The [regime’s] authorities are revolutionary when they do not set appeasement of the arrogant powers as their goal.”
During last month’s presidential election campaign, one of Rouhani’s main messages was to establish amicable relations with the rest of the world, to eradicate the lingering effects of sanctions.
Rouhani's strong showing at the polls can be seen as a popular endorsement of his position in support of improved foreign relations. Iran's economic situation has deteriorated sharply in the last seven years, as international sanctions aimed at ending Iran;s nuclear activities, sharply limited the country's oil exports, banking access and investments.