web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

What was the world reaction to a relatively light blockade of Gaza compared to the deliberate killing of Jews and destruction of Israel? A rebuke at the nature of the collective punishment on all of the people in Gaza. Consider the Sayreville, NJ case again. Imagine the football team, school and community participated in all […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

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: