The supreme leader has become the supreme flip-flopper. That’s a fundamental shift at the 30-year mark of the revolution. Through no intellectual or moral contortion that I know of can this be perceived as a sign of strength.
Since June 12, the Islamic Republic has become a far more pressing threat to itself than to others. It is inwardly consumed. For the United States and its allies to threaten it — through sanctions or otherwise — would be worse than foolish. It would be pointless.