He can’t really be this stupid, can he?
President Obama said Monday that the Iranian people have “rebuffed the hardliners and the clerics” in the country by electing a moderate president over the weekend.
“I think it says that the Iranian people want to move in a different direction,” Obama said in an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS.
“The Iranian people rebuffed the hardliners and the clerics in the election who were counseling no compromise on anything, any time, anywhere,” he added.
The Obama administration has been criticized by some for not supporting the “green revolution” that flared up in Iran in 2009 in protest of the reelection of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The protests fizzled shortly after a government crackdown.
Obama on Monday said the more peaceful election in 2013 was evidence of a “more positive atmosphere” in the country.
“You know, if you contrast this with the violence and suppression that happened in the last presidential election, obviously you have a much more positive atmosphere this time,” he said.
Rowhani sailed to victory on Saturday despite predictions that a cadre of so-called “hardline” candidates had gained the upper hand.
Reuters, for instance, billed the win as a “resounding defeat of conservative hardliners” and a “victory of moderation over extremism.”
Other Western media organizations, such as USA Today, also adopted this view by referring to Rowhani as a “reformist.”
Yet Rowhani’s past statements and actions show he is a smooth-talking ally of Iran’s most hardline elements, experts said.
“Hassan Rowhani is part of the establishment of the Islamic Republic—he was there when this Islamist dictatorship was built and he’s still here to secure it. How exactly is this moderate?” asked Saba Farzan, an Iranian-born journalist.
Rowhani has served as a government insider since the early 1980s, when he was appointed a member of the Supreme Defense Council and became a representative of the Supreme Leader to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, a position in which he still serves.
Though Rowhani ultimately won the support of Tehran’s more moderate factions, he is anything but a progressive, Farzan said.
“During the 1999 uprising he was complicit of a severe crackdown on students that led to a dormitory at Teheran University being burned down,” said Farzan, a senior fellow and head of Iran research at the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin. “He’s a political figure that had access into the inner circle of Iran’s radical foreign policy and in fact helped shape it deeply in the early 2000s.”
Rowhani is closely tied to Iran’s Supreme Leader and the ruling class.
Some moderate. These same people, Obama and the media, namely, call the Tea Party terrorists and every other vile name in the book, yet this monster is hailed as a moderate. Heck, CBS News even went so far as to call the entire Iranian electoral slate just like the Tea Party. Whatever the case, stooges like Obama buying this sham are just what the mullahs wanted.
Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rowhani is not known for making incendiary and violent statements. But that may be a sign he intends to sweet-talk the West into lifting sanctions while giving nothing in return. The West’s gullible leaders, President Obama in particular, and a business-hungry Europe anxious for trade deals might reward him for the change in tone.
Unfortunately, it won’t help Iran’s people as Iran’s effort to build a nuclear bomb moves forward.
It’s important to note that Rowhani is said to be bitter about how, while serving as Iran’s nuclear negotiator in the 1990s, he halted Iran’s enrichment of uranium before Ahmadinejad became president.
He now believes Iran got very little in return for it and sees it as a mistake to not be repeated. That, too, suggests his moderation will only be superficial.