Home Media Action Alerts2013 Iran’s New President a Regime Insider, not a Reformer

Iran’s New President a Regime Insider, not a Reformer

by Mike Fegelman

In our latest Toronto Sun op-ed published on June 30, HRC counters the prevailing narrative presented by the mainstream media claiming that Iranian President-elect Hasan Rowhani is a reformer, whereas in reality he’s nothing more than a regime insider.


“Iran’s New President a Regime Insider, Not a Reformer”

The prevailing narrative presented by the media about Iranian President-elect Hasan Rowhani is that he’s a reformer, not a regime insider, who will impose moderate policies. Some Canadian commentators have argued that Iran’s newly minted president should be welcomed and engaged with immediately. After all, they argue that Rowhani is an educated and cultured cleric, a man who speaks several languages, and is seen as a centrist. While this optimism abounds, it’s based solely on wishful thinking and not the pessimistic substance which reigns supreme.

In reality, the Iranian regime used Rowhani in nuclear negotiations during the Khatami period to put on a moderate face while expanding their nuclear program. Rowhani boasted of his duplicity just weeks ago saying his tactics essentially split the EU and US so that Iran could expand quietly. It appears Iran is trying to pull this same trick again by using Rowhani as window dressing to portray its leadership as transparent and conciliatory, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Importantly, Rowhani is not in control of Iran’s nuclear trajectory and is in a mostly ceremonial position, whereas Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards decide the true fate of Iran’s nuclear program. Even so, Rowahnii used his first news conference to rule out halting Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

So who is Hasan Rowhani? He’s a man who supports domestic repression, called for the execution of pro-democracy student protesters in 1999, he openly supports the Assad regime and its murder of 100,000 Syrians, and was reportedly on a special government committee that plotted the 1994 bombing of Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

The farcical Iranian “elections” that Rowhani won saw only a narrow field of candidates, a half-dozen who were handpicked in a tightly controlled contest to determine who will be subservient to the desires of the Supreme Leader. Prior to the elections, Iran’s state-funded broadcaster-cum-propaganda outlet, Press TV, aired reports that tried to brand Rowhani as a rational and pliant conservative. Just as nations have multi-million dollar branding campaigns, the images of Iran’s future leaders were moulded by its spin-doctors.

Rowhani is a Trojan horse and he’s being used to project an aura of moderation while Iran goes full speed towards acquiring atomic weapons. Foreign analysts believe Iran’s using Rowhani as a poster boy for reform, is just a ruse that will make it more difficult for the international community to impose further crippling sanctions needed to impede Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

Israel and the international community fear that Tehran’s illicit nuclear program is a cover for it to one day develop an atomic bomb. That is why a line must be drawn to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations recently that the world must draw a red line for Iran, threatening that if Iran crosses the “red line” by getting to the final stage in making a bomb where Iran is 90 per cent along the path of having sufficient weapons-grade material, war will ensue. An Iranian weapon of mass destruction will not only destabilize the region, but it will pose an existential threat for the Jewish state and will be menacing to the world.

Iran should be judged more by the actions of its leaders, than by the words of its figureheads. A new opening to a deal with Iran can only occur when Tehran capitulates to the international demands of its nuclear program and when it ceases its support for international terror.

Mike Fegelman is Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada, a non-profit organization which ensures fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel (www.HonestReporting.ca)



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La6Red9Nec July 1, 2013 - 1:36 am

When is Canada start treating First Nation according to the standards of civilized world in terms of Human Rights?

Fulan Kishwar July 1, 2013 - 6:36 am

Change your name to: Honestly, Reporting for Israel… now that would be honest, eh.

Change Iran Now July 2, 2013 - 7:28 pm

Great editorial. Everyone knows you can’t pass gas in Iran without Khamenei’s approval and blessing and Rowhani is no different. All he does is read from a careful script that mentions “moderate” a dozen times. Iran has been and remains an obstinate theocracy run by mullahs hellbent of spreading their special version of radicalized Islam around the world and there is no way they are going to back down until the West fully supports the people of Iran and empowers them to overthrow their government the same way the Arab Spring is dramatically changing the rest of the Middle East.

I think it would make an interesting first test of Rowhani’s so-called “moderation” to have him order the removal of Iran fighters and weapons from the Syrian conflict and work for a peaceful transfer of power from a corrupt Assad regime to a democratically elected one…but I’m not holding my breath. Iran’s leaders, especially Khamenei, have a deep vested interest in maintaining power and influence in Syria that they are willing to contribute to the continued slaughter of innocent civilians. They don’t lose sleep over abusing their own people, I don’t think they care how many die in Syria.

WinstonCN July 24, 2013 - 8:28 am

MEK is a marxist cult….

Iran Fail July 24, 2013 - 10:01 pm

Unfortunately that’s been part of the disinformation campaign being perpetrated by the regime. If you want to get an accurate view of some of these kinds of misstatements, then check out http://www.moisdisinformation.com. A great site that has accurate, sourced and cited references on some of the more outrageous claims that have been made.

WinstonCN July 25, 2013 - 1:32 am

LOL! yada yada yada… MEK/NCRI was trained by the PLO in 1970s. Is that part of the disinformation too? What about their alliance with Saddam? What about their attacks on the US military servicemen in 1970s?
Rajavis run a Stalinist cult. They’re as bad as the current regime. In fact, they’ll be Iran’s Pol Pot once in power.

Change Iran Now July 25, 2013 - 1:37 am

Unfortunately it appears your mind is set so there’s not much I can do about that. For everyone else, the important point to remember is to be distrustful of Rouhani and hold him to a high standard based on his own statements about moderation and see if indeed actions can for once match the rhetoric and he can break free from Khamenei’s command (but I’m not holding my breath on that one). It’d be like asking Biden to to break away from Obama.

WinstonCN July 25, 2013 - 3:55 am

I have lived in Iran and there’s nothing Marxist-Islamist scums can tell me to ignore the truth. MEK is as bad the ayatollahs… they’ll have no future in a free Iran.

Change Iran Now July 25, 2013 - 4:32 am

So you’re solution for Iran is to do what? Pray Khamenei turns into a nice guy?

WinstonCN July 25, 2013 - 4:37 am

A regime change from within while excluding un-democratic Marxist-Islamist cults like the Mullahs or the MEK.

And it is your, not you’re.

Change Iran Now July 25, 2013 - 4:41 am

Okay so we can agree on regime change. Now the question is how can we accomplish that while Khamenei enjoys the unwavering support of the Revolutionary Guard? Don’t think you’re going to get an Egypt scenario where the army sides with the people.

WinstonCN July 25, 2013 - 4:51 am

That does not concern me. I (and most of young people my age) don’t want to see the cult of rajavis aka MEK/NCRI in power in Iran. Period.

Change Iran Now July 25, 2013 - 5:10 am

Well then I think your true colors are revealed. You’re not really interested in a change in Iran from a theocracy to a democracy. That is unfortunate.

WinstonCN July 26, 2013 - 8:32 am

That’s for me to know and it is none of your business. Mind your business.

WinstonCN July 24, 2013 - 8:27 am

Rouhani is a hardliner, if anything.

WinstonCN July 27, 2013 - 1:34 am

when the corrupt first nations start treating their own selves like civilized people…


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