The Standing Rock Sioux tribe just got an ally in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline that they may not necessarily want.
Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iran, has posted a message on his official website declaring solidarity with the #NoDAPL protesters.
The Iranian government also included the above bit of image propaganda to help get the anti-American point across. I should note that, despite the implications of the image, not a single protester has been killed or even, to my knowledge, injured by a member of law enforcement.
As for the message itself, Khamenei is not wrong in identifying America’s dark history with its indigenous tribes. It is a truth and a deep stain on our nation’s history. It shouldn’t be forgotten or discounted, though it also shouldn’t overshadow the ideals our nation aspires to (if imperfectly).
It is a bit rich to hear a theocratic dictator lecture America about human rights. After all, where would you rather live?
Anyway, Khamenei’s motivations here are probably something less idealistic. Foreign powers like Iran and Russia have a big interest in destabilizing America, both in terms of fomenting social unrest and disrupting our economy.
Working to inflame the #NoDAPL protests does both in that it undermines the rule of law – the pipeline construction has scrupulously adhered to a rigorous and thorough permitting process – and because it hampers America’s domestic energy industry.
It souldn’t be lost on us that less American oil in the global markets means, in turn, more market share for Iran’s state-owned oil industry.