web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Is Rohani a Moderate Game-Changer or a Diversion?

Rohani’s election positions the regime to cater – superficially – to reform-minded voters in Iran, while improving Iran’s prospects in international negotiations.
The media outlets hailing the election of Hassan Rohani, the “moderate,” are the same outlets that consider the Tea Parties in America to be “radical.”

The media outlets hailing the election of Hassan Rohani, the “moderate,” are the same outlets that consider the Tea Parties in America to be “radical.”
Photo Credit: Press TV

No one is ready to take the reins as a global superpower right now.  In the absence of a Pax Americana, Germany and Russia will find themselves, as they have before, jockeying for position and influence.  China and India will be factors they were not in the past, but the basic dynamic will be the same as it was 100 or 200 years ago.  The threat of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction raises the stakes today, but in the absence of a global hegemon, it does not change the game.

It’s a gas, gas, gas

One prism through which to view this emerging competition will be the impending decisions about the long-desired non-Russian pipeline to move natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe.  The hoary “Nabucco” project, long considered all but defunct, got an infusion of life in late May when France’s GDF Suez acquired a 9% interest in it.  With this acquisition, a major West European firm has jumped into Nabucco, which had been hanging on with only Austrian, East European, and Turkish backing.  Nabucco’s non-Russian rival, TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline), is making a run at Nabucco and counting on momentum, and on securing Azerbaijan’s backing, to ensure victory.  According to Austria’s energy minister, the decision between the two aspiring pipelines to the Caspian gas will be made this month, June 2013.

But Turkey gets a pipeline run either way, and Turkey’s domestic situation is dicey right now.  That alone might not postpone the pipeline decision.  But now the prospect has emerged of Iran becoming eligible for trade in polite company again.  Reality doesn’t matter nearly as much as perception here, if Iran can be relied on to keep order and honor her commitments.  In the matter of the trade and hard currency for which she hankers, she assuredly can, at least in the short run.

An alternative to Russian pipelines is a Holy Grail for European security; an alternative to a pipeline through Turkey is something many Europeans, especially those in Southeastern Europe, would consider a very good idea.

Not that investors would give up on a pipeline through Turkey. Her geographic centrality makes it too obvious a solution to many problems.  But decisions about it can be postponed a bit longer, if there is a prospect of having both a non-Russian pipeline through Turkey, and access to gas through Iran and other geographic waypoints in the region.  It doesn’t take a European statesman of preternatural brilliance to see the advantage in that.

Bringing Iran in from the cold opens up a lot of options for European and Asian calculations.  Wanting to do business with Iran, and to gain a regional position through engaging with her, is a no-brainer from the perspective of at least a dozen European and Asian nations.  Americans may not see it; Westerners in Brussels may not see it; but everyone else does: the world is changing.  The old post-World War II narrative of security needs and priorities is all but dead.  The Obama administration in the United States now effectively asks the world to run in a harness that doesn’t fit anymore – and the world is looking for reasons to stop doing it.

Rohani an answer to the emerging question?

Much of the world has probably just found such a reason in Hassan Rohani.  We should not underestimate how much change will be ushered in by a perceived opportunity here.  This is an opportunity the nations of Europe and Asia are quickly realizing they wanted; they will not ignore it, nor will they relinquish it in favor of fealty to the sclerotic worldview animating Obama’s policies.

Rohani will not pursue nuclear weapons with any less zeal than his predecessor.  As long as Khamenei is alive, there will be no test of how domestically reform-minded Rohani really is.  He is not Iran’s Mikhail Gorbachev.  (The Guardian Council is not the Politburo of the 1980s, which is the biggest determining factor.)  He probably won’t be, either, even if Ayatollah Khamenei passes away on his watch.  If anything, Rohani’s probably a Yuri Andropov: a regime loyalist who won’t change things, but who will put a different and seemingly more interesting face on an unchanged regime.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Is Rohani a Moderate Game-Changer or a Diversion?”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    We're going to have to wait and see if the election of Rohani makes a difference. I believe it shows the Iranian people have had enough of the theocratic tyranny which has existed since the overthrow of the Shah (before that, it was non-theocratic tyranny).

    But we have to remember that the Revolutionary Guards and the mullahs still call the shots. There will have to be a popular uprising to clean these vermin out of Iran, and that's not happening — yet. So until then, it should be business as usual between the US, Israel, and Iran — which means regime change as far as the true rulers are concerned.

  2. Gil Gilman says:

    Before reading the article: Diversion. After reading the article: Tea Party is not radical, just full of nitwit ideas, and rhetoric…well…wait a minute…isn't that what Iran is full of?

  3. Gil Gilman says:

    Before reading the article: Diversion. After reading the article: Tea Party is not radical, just full of nitwit ideas, and rhetoric…well…wait a minute…isn't that what Iran is full of?

  4. This overthrowing of the Shah thanks to the coward Jimmy Carter the worst President of US all times.

  5. This confirms what I've thought all along — most of the world's nations are terrorists and enemies of the USA, so we'll ultimately have to wage war against most of the rest of the world in order to remain a free nation!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
J-Street
J Street: The Jewish Enemy Within
Latest Indepth Stories
J-Street

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

Abbas and Obama

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Ronal Shoval Voting

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student

NY Times precious front page ink is only reserved for portrayals of Israel as the aggressor.

Although I loved law school, I doubted myself: Who would come to me, a chassidish woman lawyer?

American Jews who go gaga for Obama are first and foremost “Liberals of the Mosaic Persuasion”

“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the BDS campaign”

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Steven Joel Sotloff as a hostage of ISIS, before his beheading.

In his travels as a journalist in the Islamic world, Sotloff never referred to his Jewishness.

ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key.

ISIS has no intention of “marching on” Baghdad. The Sunni affiliates of ISIS are going to disrupt life there.

Oslo’s moment of unchallenged American supremacy and the illusion of unforced global stasis, passed.

Could the Obamas be any more “let ‘em eat cake”?

The Obama administration wants to take over the short-term financial services industry.

The topics are “The Reagan Strategy,” and the “Iran Time Bomb.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/is-rohani-a-moderate-game-changer-or-a-diversion/2013/06/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: