Religious leaders in Iran worry that reformers will deprive them of three precious words that one cleric described as “the life blood of our Revolution.” Those words are “Death to America!” – chanted at prayer services and nationwide rallies, and even exchanged as a greeting among believers.
Catholics traditionally wish each other “Pax Vobiscum”–or “peace be with you”– while Jews say “Shalom Aleichem” which means the same thing. Loyal Britons toast with “God save the Queen!”, Frenchmen with “Vive la France!”, but only Iranians express patriotism by urging the demise of another nation.
This focus on destruction over creation, death over life, shows why three decades of theocratic rule left Iranians more wretched and powerless than they were before. Americans can afford to wish “Life to Iran” – which requires a dramatic change in the current regime.