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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hassan Rohani’

Ahmadinejad Calls His Holocaust Denial Major Achievement

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a farewell ceremony that publicizing his Holocaust denial was a major achievement of his presidency.

“That was a taboo topic that no one in the West allowed to be heard,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech Sunday, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency.  “We put it forward at the global level. That broke the spine of the Western capitalist regime.”

Ahmadinejad’s remarks on the Holocaust appeared on the Fars site in Arabic, but not on its English website, which covered other aspects of the speech.

Ahmadinejad also called for the Arab world to work together to punish Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

President-elect Hassan Rohani described Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel remarks as “hate rhetoric” that had brought the country to the brink of war, the German news agency DPA reported.

Rohani’s Acid Test: Can Women Enter Soccer Stadium?

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Women in Iran are pinning their hopes on Hassan Rohani to pass what would be a sweeping reform in the Islamic Republic – allowing them to enter a soccer stadium.

The issue is not minor in a country where an Iranian sports journalist told Turkey’s Hurriyet News, “In terms of freedom of expression, football stadiums are nearly as important as the Internet in Iran now.”

Rohani’s predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad found out the hard way that allowing women to enter a soccer stadium is frowned upon by Muslim clerics. He announced in 2006 that women could go the stadium, especially when it comes to lavishing praise on the national team after a victory over an enemy, such as the United States.

Has was forced to back down after leading clerics vehemently objected to allowing men and women to come so close together in a public place.

‘Rohani the Moderate’ Helped Plan 1994 Bombing of Buenos Aires

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani, described as a “moderate” by media after he narrowly won this week’s election to success Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was on the committee that planned the mega-terrorist bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994. He also has backed hiding Iran’s nuclear program.

Western diplomats’ knee-jerk reaction to any change on leadership in the Middle East, except in Israel, was full of praise for Rohani.

The United States “respected” the election results and is ready for “direct” engagement and intends “to aggressively push to resume negotiations with Tehran on its nuclear program by August to test his new government’s positions.”

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was “fully committed” to working with Rohani’s government.

The Financial Times reported that Rohani “was the only moderate candidate in a race with five fundamentalists.”

How is he moderate? First of all, he is well-mannered. When someone tries to kill you, doesn’t it feel so much better when he smiles?

Secondly, Rohani is “pragmatic.”

He is very pragmatic. He was on the special Iranian committee that plotted the 1994 bombing in Argentina, killing 85 people and wounding hundreds of others.

Former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi, who defected from Iran in the late 1990s, has previously testified that Rohani was then serving as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council in 1993 and was a member of the committee that approved the bombing, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei led the special committee, according to the indictment, and Khamenei and Rafsanjani made the ultimate decision to go ahead with the attack,” the Free Beacon explained.”

Reuel Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, told the Beacon, “Rohani’s power at that time comes directly from one individual, and that’s Rafsanjani. As far as that bombing was concerned, because Rafsanjani had to give his approval for that, there was no doubt Rohani was aware of it, and obviously his approval’s not necessary. He’s a subordinate. But he certainly would have been aware of all the discussions that led to the attack.”

How else is Rohanai a moderate? He supported the deadly suppression of crackdown on students protests in 1999.

Okay, so he hates Jews and is against protests? But maybe he is prepared to save the Iranian economy and ditch the nuclear program?

If his story is a clue, the answer is,“No chance.”

Rohani has supported concealing the Iranian nuclear program, saying that the West will accept it in the end just like it did hen Pakistan achieved nuclear capability. “The world started to work with them,” Rohani has stated.

Rohani was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. He said in a speech in Iran in 2004, “As for building the atomic bomb, we never wanted to move in that direction …”

But: “If one day we are able to complete the (nuclear) fuel cycle and the world sees that it has no choice, that we do possess the technology, then the situation will be different.”

In other words, “If we don’t have an atomic bomb, I don’t want it. Once we have it, that’ a different story.”

When Iran was caught try to hide its nuclear development towards the end of the 20th century, Rohani stated.  “This (concealment) was the intention. This never was supposed to be in the open. But in any case, the spies exposed it. We did not want to declare all this.”

Rohanai is practical like a fox. He can be compared to Mahmoud Abbas, who wears a suit and a tie instead of Yasser Arafat’s kefiah and pistol. The difference between Abbas’ Fatah party platform and Hamas is style. Both have the same objective of destroying Israel.

Rohani is much more polite than Ahmadinejad, but his tacit approval of the murder of Jews in Buenos Aires show that his intentions are no better, if not worse.

Like Abbas, he will use is mild manner to try to convince the West how much he really wants to cooperate with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rohani, in 2004, spoke in favor of cooperating with the West, according to Reuters.  He actually supported a freeze on enriching uranium, but only temporarily.

Russia Claims Iran Ready to Stop Enrichment of 20% uranium

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Russia says that Iran is ready to stop enriching 20 percent grade uranium, a key ingredient towards making a nuclear weapon, but Iran expects the West to lift economic sanctions in return.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did not say exactly what Iranian officials agreed to this grand gesture, one day after Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rohani vowed that Iran will continue to enrich uranium. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu previously has warned that the only level of uranium enrichment that Iran should be allowed to produce is “zero percent.”

A higher grade of enrichment is a step closer to producing a nuclear weapon, but lower grade enrichment, needed for fuel roads in the Bushehr nuclear energy plant. Iran’s refusal to allow international inspectors into its nuclear facilities precludes the possibility of knowing how much 20 percent enriched uranium the country already has stockpiled.

“For the first time in many years, there are encouraging signs in the process of settlement of the situation with the Iranian nuclear program,” Lavrov said in the interview to Kuwait’s KUNA news agency. The interview was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s site but was not published in Iran.

Lavrov insisted that Iran’s preparedness to stop high-level enrichment of uranium “could become a breakthrough agreement.”

Then he dropped the joker in the deck: Iran’s grand gesture “implies significant reciprocal steps” by the six world powers who have unsuccessfully tried to convince Iran to cooperate with nuclear inspectors to stop its nuclear program.

“The international community must adequately respond to the constructive progress made by Iran, including gradual suspension and lifting of sanctions, both unilateral and those introduced by the UN Security Council. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this opportunity,” Lavrov concluded.

The next step is predictable. The West will demand some kind of evidence that Iran can speak for itself instead of letting Russia act as its mouthpiece.

Step Number Two will be Iran’s demand that sanctions be removed because, after all, how can it trust the West to inspect its nuclear facilities and then find a reason not lift sanctions?

Rohani won’t take office until August, so Iran still has several weeks to enrich more high-grade uranium.

After August, expect another few weeks, or months, of negotiating about how to negotiate an agreement.

By that time, maybe Iran will have enough high-grade uranium for a bomb.

Is Rohani a Moderate Game-Changer or a Diversion?

Monday, June 17th, 2013

A reader at The Optimistic Conservative pointed out that the media outlets hailing the election of Hassan Rohani, a so-called “moderate,” as the next president of Iran are the same outlets that consider the Tea Parties in America to be “radical.”

Given that most of these media outlets would agree that the clerical mullahs of Iran’s Guardian Council are radicals, the task for the Tea Parties seems clear: simply proclaim some among their membership to be “moderate.”  Send the moderate members to talk to the media and negotiate political issues.  The moderate Tea Partiers need never make a concession or give any ground; their only requirement is to serve as the self-proclaimed moderates of the Tea Party movement.  A few tweets would help too.  The media outlets should greet the Tea Party moderates with acclaim and be excited to see them elected to public office.

Election of a ringer?

If it works for the Iranian government, it should certainly work for the Tea Parties.  The fertile TOC comments section provided a preview for another significant point, which is that the clerical council effectively positioned Rohani as a “moderate,” in the hope that doing so would give him an electoral victory with a reform-hungry people.  What I said on the topic was this:

We could even suggest that Khamenei suffered [Rohani] to be talked up as a reformer in order to pacify the people with his win.

At The Tower, Avi Issacharoff quotes Dr. Soli Shahvar of Haifa University:

“[Rohani] never called himself a reformist … But he uses rhetoric that is less blustery than that of Ahmedinejad, and speaks more moderately, including on the subject of nuclear negotiations.” Shahvar’s conclusion with respect to Rouhani’s win is unambiguous. “I interpret his election in one way only: The regime wanted him to win. If they had wanted one of the conservatives to win, they would have gotten four of the five conservatives to drop out of the race, paving the way for [eventual runner-up, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Bagher] Ghalibaf to win. But they didn’t do that. Moreover, it was the regime that approved the candidacy of Rouhani [sic] alongside only seven others. This is striking evidence that Khamenei wanted Rouhani to win, both internally and externally.”

Shahvar goes on to basically outline my theory from the comments at the link above:

“Victory for a candidate who is perceived as more moderate yet still has the confidence of Khamenei, serves the regime in the best way. Externally, Iran today is in a very difficult situation with regard to sanctions and its international standing. A conservative president would only have increased Tehran’s isolation in the world. A victory for someone from the ‘moderate stream,’ however, will immediately bring certain countries in the international community to call for ‘giving a chance to dialogue with the Iranian moderates.’ They will ask for more time in order to encourage this stream, and it will take pressure off the regime. And so we see that in the non-disqualification of Rouhani and especially in the non-dropping-out of four of the five conservative candidates there is more than just an indication that this is the result the regime desired.”

(See here for a separate, very worthwhile summary of Rohani’s victory.)

Rohani’s election positions the regime to cater – superficially – to reform-minded voters in Iran, while improving Iran’s prospects in international negotiations.  There is no doubt that the international media will provide governments with a cover story about Rohani and “reform” in Iran.  They are already doing it.  With Rohani depicted as a moderate and a reformer, nations like Germany, India, Japan, and Brazil – nations which have been conflicted on the sanctions against Iran, and have trod a convoluted course to both honor and circumvent them – will see a handy justification for modifying their stances.

Sanctions roll-back?

Iran can expect a rush of trade relaxations some time after Rohani takes office.  It is worth taking a moment to reflect on how robust Iran’s trade relations already are, in spite of the sanctions: economic powerhouses like Germany, China, and India have continued to do robust trade with Iran, even when that trade is clearly boosting Iran’s nuclear program (see here for more on the story, the latest in a list of such stories coming from Germany.  Here’s another one, albeit with – apparently – a happier ending).

So Called Moderate Rohani Wins Iranian Vote

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Hassan Rohani won outright majority of the votes and was declared President-elect of the Islamic Republic of Iran, IRNA reported.

Just under 37 million Iranians voted in Friday’s elections, out of some 50 million eligible voters—close to a 75 percent turnout—with about one million votes disqualified. Hassan Rohani won 18,613,629 votes, or just around 51 percent, which means there won’t be a runoff election.

According to a Reuters reporter stationed in Dubai, it appears the elections were surprisingly free and fair – of course, after a very large number of candidates had been shaved off the ballots by the ruling ayatollahs before the vote began.

The British Foreign Office said in a statement that it hoped President Elect Rohani would use his victory to engage with international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We note the announcement that Hassan Rouhani has won the Iranian presidential elections,” the statement said. “We call on him to use the opportunity to set Iran on a different course for the future: addressing international concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme, taking forward a constructive relationship with the international community, and improving the political and human rights situation for the people of Iran.”

Rouhani has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Expediency Council since 1991, member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.

Rouhani was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for 16 years. His career at the Council began under President Hashemi Rafsanjani and continued under his successor, President Khatami. He served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator from October, 2003 to August, 2005. That period began with international revelations about Iran’s nuclear energy program and adoption of a strongly-worded resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Rouhani and his team based their efforts on dialogue and confidence building. They managed to prevent further accusations against Iran, by suspending some parts of Iran’s nuclear activities voluntarily. While preventing Iran’s case from being reported to the UN Security Council, Iran still succeeded in completing its nuclear fuel cycle. But Rouhani was not liked by incoming president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, who made him resign from his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after 16 years of leading it.

Just based on his public record, it is clear that the historic differences between Rouhani and his predecessor Ahmadinejad have never been over substance – they both insist on Iran’s right to a fully developed nuclear program, both for peaceful and ends as for weapons production. Rouhani is simply more patient and better at duplicity.

This could mean a change for the worse in terms of Israel’s worries about the Iranian bomb, because Rouhani could turn out to be a lot more accommodating to the European and American negotiators, which would isolate Israel in its hawkish position against Iran’s nuclear program.

Rouhani is known as a friend of Iran’s Green Movement, but he also enjoys close ties to Iran’s ruling ayatollahs.

According to Reuters, Iranian voters gave Rouhani what amounted to a landslide victory – 51 percent in a very crowded race, because they are weary of years of economic isolation and tightening political restrictions. They’ve greeted his victory with a mix of euphoria and relief that eight years under hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were finally over.

But, clearly, Israel is not about to let down its guard.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/so-called-moderate-rohani-wins-iranian-vote/2013/06/15/

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