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article imageOp-Ed: Iranian Election Apathy

By Joseph Power     Jun 22, 2013 in Politics
Don't believe the post-Iranian election hype: Nothing's going to change with Rouhani in charge after Ahmadinejad leaves office. Despite the fanfare over Rouhani’s election win, there’s really nothing to look forward to in regard to Iran’s future.
Rouhani appears to be popular in the West due to his Western academic background, and his status as a ‘moderate’ and a polyglot (he speaks English, French, German, Russian, and Arabic). In The Commentator, Noah Beck laughed this optimism off, saying ‘that doesn’t transform Rouhani into some kind of Iranian Gorbachev who will or can revamp Iran’s entire political system (or even just its nuclear policy). Such a "black swan event” is hardly predicted by Rouhani’s past.’
Indeed, Rouhani’s past isn’t promising. He’s a man who stated that while Britain, France and Germany were with Iran in Tehran, the Iranians were installing nuclear conversion equipment in Isfahan. He also acknowledged that administrative decisions regarding Iran’s nuclear program take place ‘above’ government level. We all know where that is, it’s in the place where clerical fascists announce their intention to burn the American navy and set Israel on fire.
Somewhat ironically: the man who was kept in power by the mullahs in the fraudulent 2009 Iranian elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was the man who tried to consolidate power away from the clerics and toward the elected presidency. It was a struggle that left Ayatollah Ali Khameini, Iran’s Supreme Leader, threatening to abolish the office of presidency altogether.
Nobody should be in any doubt as to who runs Iran. A lifetime regime-loyalist like Rouhani isn’t a reformist like Mousavi was in 2009. Khameini and the clerics pull Iran’s strings, not the president. Even if Khameini were to be killed tomorrow in a drone strike, Iran’s course wouldn’t change with Rouhani at Iran’s wheel.. They’d continue to prop up Alawite-run Syria, their proxy Shi’ite militia of Hezbollah would continue their regional destabilisation, and their bizarre and contradictory support of Sunni Islamists, Hamas, would continue.
What we can expect from Rouhani isn’t an Ahmadinejad-esque ‘death to Israel’ rabble-rouser. It’s an old school loyalist to the Khomeinite legacy of the 1979 revolution who, as Beck predicts, may very well preside over the unveiling of Iran’s nuclear weapon in his first term.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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