By Joanna Paraszczuk – EAworldview – 6.9.2013 – , – The Supreme Leader grabbed most of the headlines in international media about Iran on Thursday, declaring that the US “will suffer…just like it did in Iraq and Afghanistan” if it intervenes with force in Syria on the “pretext” of a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime. What was notable, however, was not Ayatollah Khamenei’s rhetoric to the Assembly of Experts. Instead, it is the continuing — and even expanding — gap between that hard-line support of Damascus and the moderation from others in the Iranian regime.

While President Rouhani continues to avoid any blame of the Syrian insurgents for the August 21 chemical weapons attacks, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also pulled back from the allegation. Instead, Zarif’s office used his new Twitter account on Thursday to put forth the case against US airstrikes without reference to evil “takfiris” or an American-Israeli-Saudi plot to take over Syria.

And Rouhani and Zarif also made a headline intervention on another front. The offices of both men offered best wishes to all Jews for Rosh Hashanah, a sharp contrast to the public declarations of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Zarif, asked by the daughter of the US Speaker of the House of Representatives about past denials of the Holocaust, replied, “Iran never denied it. The man who did [Ahmadinejad] is now gone. Happy New Year.”