|Presidential candidates in Iran, |
Saeed Jalili (left) and Hassan Rouhani.
Rooting for Jalili -Daniel Pipes, PhD
Four years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog, "Rooting for Ahmadinejad," which explained why I wanted the worst of the candidates on Iran's election day in 2009 to win the election.
"...whoever is elected president, whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, will have limited impact on the issue that most concerns the outside world – Iran's drive to build nuclear weapons, which Khamene'i will presumably continue apace, as he has in prior decades.
Therefore, while my heart goes out to the many Iranians who desperately want the vile Ahmadinejad out of power, my head tells me it's best that he remain in office. When Mohammed Khatami was president, his sweet words lulled many people into complacency, even as the nuclear weapons program developed on his watch. If the patterns remain unchanged, better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep, even as thousands of centrifuges whir away."
And so, despite myself, I am rooting for Ahmadinejad."
Following the same logic, that it's better to have an aggressive Saeed Jalili than a sweet talking Hassan Rouhani, I am, despite myself, rooting for the vile Jalili.
[National Review Online]
Israel Not "Deluding" Itself over Election -Calev Ben-David
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the world to keep pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program, even after Hassan Rowhani's election as president of the Islamic Republic. "Regarding the elections in Iran, we do not delude ourselves," Netanyahu told the Cabinet in Jerusalem. "The international community must not be caught up in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program."
The Israeli leader said that Iran's nuclear program is controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not Rowhani, and remains a threat to world peace.
Behind Iran's "Moderate" New Leader -Sohrab Ahmari
So this is what democracy looks like in a theocratic dictatorship. Iran's presidential campaign season kicked off last month when an unelected body of 12 Islamic jurists disqualified more than 600 candidates. Women were automatically out; so were Iranian Christians, Jews and even Sunni Muslims. The rest were purged for possessing insufficient revolutionary zeal.
Regime loyalist Hassan Rowhani, 64, a former nuclear negotiator and security apparatchik, served for 16 years as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. During his tenure, Rowhani led the crackdown on a 1999 student uprising and helped the regime evade Western scrutiny of its nuclear-weapons program.
During the campaign, he boasted of how during his tenure as negotiator Iran didn't suspend enrichment - on the contrary, "we completed the program."
(Wall Street Journal)
The Regime Wanted Rowhani to Win -Avi Issacharoff
Putting aside how quickly the winner of the Iranian presidential election Hassan Rowhani was branded a "reformist" by Western media outlets, losing candidate Ali Akbar Velayati described him most accurately as a servant of the regime. The incoming president of Iran was never a reformist, and it is doubtful that his achievement was even a victory for the moderate camp in Iran. Rowhani, as opposed to the image that has been fashioned, was until recently known as part of the conservative camp in Iran. He is not one of those challenging the Islamist regime, and certainly not challenging Khamenei's rule.
"He never called himself a reformist," explains Dr. Soli Shahvar, who heads the Ezri Center for Iran and Gulf Studies at Haifa University.
"I interpret his election in one way only: The regime wanted him to win....Victory for a candidate who is perceived as more moderate yet still has the confidence of Khamenei, serves the regime."
A "Pragmatic" Mullah - Bret Stephens
Hassan Rowhani is the man who chaired Iran's National Security Council between 1989 and 2005, meaning he was at the top table when Iran masterminded the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people, and of the Khobar Towers in 1996, killing 19 U.S. airmen. He would also have been intimately familiar with the secret construction of Iran's illicit nuclear facilities in Arak, Natanz and Isfahan, which weren't publicly exposed until 2002.
Now the West is supposed to be grateful that Ahmadinejad's scowling face will be replaced by Rowhani's smiling one - a bad-cop, good-cop routine that Iran has played before.
(Wall Street Journal)
And the Winner is... Iran's Nuclear Program - Harold Rhode
Making Rowhani the president was a brilliant strategic move for Khamenei - not just to pacify the West, by also to pacify the Iranian people.
Iran's Election: Victory for the Islamic Republic
The election of Hassan Rowhani may be an even bigger blessing for Khamenei and the conservative establishment who can claim renewed legitimacy over a unified Iran, amid the instability rocking Iraq, Syria and Turkey.