By Uri Elitzur
This is the man handpicked by Khamenei to run the PR of the Iranian bomb, to pull from Shimon Peres the statement about the new hope and to obtain from the keyboards of slews of naive Western commentators the big sigh of relief heard yesterday worldwide.
Translated by Viktoria Lymar
Edited by Steven Stenzler
17 June 2013
Without fraud and without terror, the spiritual leader of Iran managed to make the opposition elect with a large majority the candidate he basically wanted.
Israel lost yesterday one of its most important strategic assets – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His Hitlerite appearance and wild freakouts served us faithfully for eight years, and now we’ll have to deal with much more complex challenge.
Naïve Western commentators describe the election of Hassan Rouhani as a grand surprise, and in addition, even write that the Supreme Leader Khamenei congratulated with a ‘sour face.’ But those who have been following Khamenei's moves over the recent months, not only were not surprised – they’ve realized that Khamenei was the one to choose Rouhani, and he was the one to smartly propel his smooth victory at the polls.
In the previous round, Khamenei pushed his man, Ahmadinejad, through – by means of huge election rigging and violent repression of the opposition. This time he did it artfully and easily. During Ahmadinejad's second term in office, the Western world was convinced in the righteousness of Israel's cry, and Khamenei apparently got convinced that Ahmadinejad is very bad news for Iran.
In those years, heavy sanctions were imposed on Iran – which, even if not yet threatening to completely collapse its economy, are already causing feelings of anger against the regime on the Iranian street, to the extent that it poses a danger to its continued existence.
What Khamenei needs now is a president who will succeed to perform the task which Rouhani himself defined most clearly: “I said it is good for centrifuges to operate, but it is also important that the country operates as well and the wheels of industry are turning.”* In short, both ways. Both continuing the nuclear program and lifting the sanctions.
To this end, he badly needs someone very loyal to the ayatollahs’ regime and the Islamic Revolution, – and on top of this, having a moderate image and the ability to speak a language that sounds good in the West. The man chosen by Khamenei to fill this role has been Rouhani.
He fell out with Ahmadinejad and resigned in protest from his senior posts when the former was elected for the second term. He speaks excellent English and did advanced studies and research at Western universities. He tends to smile warmly, speaks in a soft tone of dialogue and understanding and compromise, and along with this, he uncompromisingly supports the nuclear project, supports Iranian intervention in Syria, and calls Israel a satanic entity. He was also one of Khomeini’s youngest and most appreciated students in the days of the revolution.
This is the man handpicked by Khamenei to run the public relations of the Iranian bomb, to pull from Shimon Peres the statement about the new hope and to produce from the keyboards of slews of ingenuous Western commentators the big sigh of relief we heard yesterday round the world.
And how did Khamenei lead to his election without having to falsify and police violence? By a simple trick: he rejected hundreds of presidential candidates, some of whom identified as conservatives and some identified as moderates. In the end of the screening process, there remained six candidates, of whom five were "conservative" and one – "moderate."
If Khamenei was really interested in a conservative president, he would have compiled exactly the opposite list. The result is that in a free and democratic election, without fabrications and without terror, the opposition has elected by a large majority the candidate wanted by the establishment.
Original Hebrew article:
The author is 2008 Sokolov Prize winner
Photo credit: Guardian