ALEX WITT, MSNBC: In terms of posturing, Iran held this military parade yesterday that featured these new weapons systems and a truck that carried a big sign with the words “Death To Israel” on it along with chants of ‘death to America.’ It seems, Representative Schiff, that we have been hearing that for so long that we become desensitized. Is it at all naive to believe that it’s just for their internal nationalist fervor and it’s not something that Iran as a whole truly believes?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, you have this division within Iran and that is a lot of the Iranian people, probably most of the Iranian people are actually quite pro-Western. And ironically, when you have these regimes that are so bitterly anti-American, their populations are often the most pro-American. But you certainly do have a very conservative wing. You have the military has a deeply embedded economic and other interests in the status quo that is going to be repelling against any kind of agreement, any accommodation with the West. And those chants, the ‘death to America’ stuff, really plays to that conservative crowd.
I thought it was interesting that at one point when the Ayatollah was speaking, I think it was the Ayatollah, not the president, to a group, and they began a chant of ‘death to America,’ at least the translation was, yes, of course, death to America. But you could read that in a couple of ways. It might be, yes, of course, death to America. We always say death to America. Or, it could be of course that he really means it, but I think it’s playing to a conservative audience in Iran.