New Iranian President unlikely to alter the calculus
An Iranian-American professor I've known for more than a quarter of century knows new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Is Rouhani a reformer? Well, sort of.
Will Rouhani alter Iran's trajectory towards acquiring nuclear weapons capability? Unlikely. Either because he's not THAT KIND of a "reformer", or because Iran's ayatollahs would constrain him.
Remember when some Americans had high hopes for the "reformist" Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani? How about when Iranian President Mohamad Khatami proposed a Dialogue of Civilizations?
I've used these analogies before, but they're worth repeating.
If you're Iranian, you don't have to believe in the country's current clerical leadership to believe that Iran - the ancient Persia - is a great country every bit as deserving of nuclear capability as Pakistan to the east and Israel to the west.
It's as natural for Iranians to believe this as for Chinese - even those alienated by the current PRC government in Beijing - to believe that Taiwan is inherently and inextricably a part of the Chinese nation, no matter the native Taiwanese.
It's as natural for Iranians to believe this as it is for Argentines to regard the Falklands (Malvinas) are inherently and inextricably a part of the Argentine nation, no matter that a discredited military government in Buenos Aires tried to seize the Falklands from Britain.
Yet, the decisive Iranian vote for the (relatively) reformist candidate, Rowhani, reflected a genuine yearning to turn back international sanctions against Iran (which hurt average Iranians far more than the clerics) - and something not noted as much in the U.S. media, relaxing social policies within Iran.
Indeed, perhaps the Iranians want to have their cake and eat it too: No sanctions, but no roadblocks to Tehran becoming a great power.
You can hear my interview with Dr. Nader Hashemi, Director of The Center for Middle-East Studies at The University of Denver; author of ISLAM, SECULARISM, & LIBERAL DEMOCRACY...
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would've been an excellent choice for president. Ahmadinejad did not kow tow to western colonial interests and always had the best interests of Iranians at heart. He was determined to upgrade Iran's modern energy program, in spite of outside interference from the colonial superpowers. Ahmadinejad truly represented his people.
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 6:10pm
Teatime: I'm not sure if you're saying this literally or if it's tongue-in-cheek humor, but if you really believe Ahmadinejad truly represented his people, then please watch this video of one of the people he "represented":
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 6:51pm
He represented half his people. The other half he didn't... It's as if a splinter of Radical Tea Partiests held the balance of keeping a Republican in power here, well that Republican would also act crazy to keep that support of crazy Tea Parties from fading away... That was the position Ahmadinejad was in. He couldn't negotiate; his government would collapse...
So jumping back three-quarters of a year back, remembering Romney and Obama debating foreign policy and Republicans sneering at his imposition of sanctions, and Obama sneering at Romney's wanting a full-scale war against the Iranian people, it is safe to say, Obama was right; Republicans very, very, very, very, very wrong.
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 11:08pm
So rather than going directly to war with Iran..."O" is getting us into a war with both Iran and Russia via Syria...and for what?
And, now that you mention those debates from months ago...have we yet found out where our leader was and what he was doing when our ambassador and 30+ others were being attacked by Al-Qaeda Islamists in Benghazi on 9/11?
Bush was blamed for everything that happened during his watch but this president is somehow "innocent" in the IRS scandal, the AP scandal, the NSA scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the Fast & Furious scandal...etc.
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 11:09pm
Now that Ahmadinejad is being replaced...does that mean someone else will get to usher in the 12th Imam? Ahmadinejad was a "Twelver" and was sure he was going to make Imam #12 appear.
Mon, Jun 17, 2013 11:51pm
Kavips: Iran should get the Enola Gay treatment.
Tue, Jun 18, 2013 12:49am
Actually, I need to be more specific. Iran should get the Enola Gay treatment courtesy of Israel.
Tue, Jun 18, 2013 8:40am
mrpizza: Israel only wants to rid the Iranians of their nuke program...not destroy the people of Iran.
The Israelis took out the nuke program of the Syrians and want to do the same to Iran.
If possible, Israel would prefer to live peacefully next to their neighbor Iran, but that's rather difficult to do when their leaders vow to wipe them from the face of the earth...they need to at least remove the tools from those who would gladly use them to destroy Israel and usher in Imam #12.
Tue, Jun 18, 2013 6:53pm
Earlgrey: I too would prefer the Israelis destroy the nuke program and not the people. However, if they wait too much longer, destroying the entire land mass may become their only option. I think they should say screw the Obama administration and unilaterally do the deed while there's still time.
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