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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the Congress this week was as eagerly anticipated in Tehran as it was in Washington.
The Iranian reaction to the speech has been a combination of indignation and indifference.
While some of Netanyahu's remarks are already being exploited by competing factions within the Iranian state, the likeliest impact of the speech is tied to Netanyahu's baseless charge that Iran's vendetta against the Jewish people is an ancient mission.
The earliest official reactions were predictably the most vigorous in denouncing Netanyahu's message to the American people. Ali Larijani, the powerful speaker of the Iranian parliament, painted Netanyahu as the leader of a "tin pot regime" that is not as concerned about Iran's nuclear program as it is of Tehran's growing regional influence.
The hardline Kayhan newspaper, the key official outlet linked to the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the speech "trash talking" but it also made sure to use it an ammunition against its rivals in the moderate faction.
The paper, skeptical of President Hassan Rouhani's nuclear negotiations with the Americans from the beginning, said Netanyahu's comments present an awkward truth for the pro-negotiation faction in Tehran: the Israeli leader and his American supporters are openly signaling the dispute with Iran can only be resolved once there is a change of regime there.
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