|A billboard circa 1980|
The Ayatollah Always Says No -Editorial
Why does Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei keep saying no? The conventional wisdom is that previous U.S. offers weren't generous enough, or that the wrong president was in the White House, or that Iran wants only to deal directly with the U.S. and not in multilateral forums. Each of these theories has been tested and shown to be false.
A more persuasive explanation is that Iran really wants a bomb. The regime believes that Gaddafi would still be in power had he not given up his nuclear program in 2003. Khamenei also fears a "velvet revolution" scenario, in which more normal ties with the West threaten the ideological foundations of the Islamic Republic. Confrontation with America is in this regime's DNA.
(Wall Street Journal)