Hassan Rouhani and the Myth of ‘Moderation’

July 2, 2013 7:50 am 4 comments

Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Human beings have a massive capacity to ignore bad news, as if dispensing with information that is either inconvenient or detrimental to one’s life will simply make the problem go away. Thus, the mainstream media could perhaps be forgiven for having bought into the solicitous charm offensive that is currently being conducted by Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, in which the radical Islamic leader has fallaciously cast himself as a “moderate,” despite the overwhelming evidence that directly undermines this assertion. However, those actively working to advance the vital national security interests of the United States and of its one true ally in the Middle East, Israel, know better than to mask, mitigate or underestimate the truly evil inclinations of the clerical Islamic regime in Tehran. We have, quite literally, seen this movie before: it is called Argo.

In 1953 the Central Intelligence Agency helped secure the throne of the Shah of Iran, who became for the next quarter-century the much vaunted centerpiece of American foreign policy in the Middle East. On December 31, 1977, President Carter infamously described Iran’s leadership as “an island of stability in a sea of turmoil.” The C.I.A. repeatedly confirmed the president’s faulty assessment. Just a few weeks later, however, riots broke out in the streets of Tehran. Yet even as the riots spread, some of the C.I.A.’s top analysts issued a draft National Intelligence Estimate that predicted the Shah might survive for another decade.

But the C.I.A. was soon caught fast asleep. On January, 16, 1979, armed thugs and loyalists of Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, a seventy-seven-year-old religious fanatic who returned from exile to Tehran, over-ran the Shah and his minions. Less than a year later, the Carter administration ignored advice given to it by the C.I.A. (which had finally begun to grasp the realities) and let the Shah enter the United States to seek medical treatment. Two weeks later, a group of Iranian “student protesters” violently seized the American Embassy, where they held fifty-two Americans hostage for 444 days. Ayatollah Khomeini recognized the value of embracing a military confrontation with the United States as a major means of consolidating his power and endorsed the hostage-taking.

Six State Department officials were lucky enough to find refuge at the Canadian Embassy across town, where they stayed for seventy-nine days. In January of 1980, the C.I.A. conducted a successful covert operation and extracted the American officials. They did so by posing as a fake film production company that had traveled to Iran to film location shots for their feigned upcoming movie, Argo.

No such luck greeted the remaining hostages. A special operations mission – Operation Eagle Claw – failed spectacularly, when an American helicopter crashed into a transport plane in the Iranian desert. Eight special operations commandos were killed in the crash; and as a result, life became increasingly unpleasant for the hostages. The hostages were eventually freed by their captors on the day that President Carter left the White House – and just minutes after the new American president, Ronald Reagan, was sworn into office. The entire ordeal was a humiliating blow to America’s perceived military might.

Now, as then, the United States government is seemingly unable, or at least unwilling, to protect its own interests and allies in the Middle East from belligerent Iran. True, Congress has passed harsh economic sanctions targeting Iran’s banking, energy and export sectors, which together have conflated the country’s economy. It is also true that President Obama has allegedly authorized covert action to be conducted against Iran, including the implementation of the Stuxnet virus and the mysterious disappearance of some Iranian scientists. However, these efforts have neither brought down the current regime nor have they stopped Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has been involved in the Islamic revolution since its murderous inception. In 1978 Rouhani helped Khomeini found the regime and has since allegedly assisted in plotting the country’s vast terror operations. Most notably, Rouhani was Chairman of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 until 2005, during which time the Council is reported to have helped mastermind the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires and of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, like his presidential predecessors, Rouhani has demonstrated clear anti-American and anti-Semitic views. In 2002, for example, Rouhani conducted an interview with ABC News, in which he blamed the Jews for America’s foreign policy: “After September 11,” he said, “the hardliners, especially the Zionist lobby, became more active and, unfortunately, influenced Mr. Bush.” Rouhani also defended Hezbollah as “a legitimate political group” and called Israel “a terrorist nation.” Most recently, in an interview with Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Rouhani denounced what he called Israel’s “inhumane policies and practices in Palestine and the Middle East.”

Finally, Rouhani is intimately involved in advancing Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. He served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator under President Mohammad Khatami from August 2003 until October 2005. In 2004 Rouhani gave a speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, in which he explained how he was playing for time during the nuclear talks he was conducting with Britain, France and Germany (“EU-3”): “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the [nuclear conversion] facility in Isfahan. By creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work there.” Rouhani’s deputy at the Supreme National Security Council, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, even described in a book his boss’ approach as the “widen the transatlantic gap” strategy.

And yet quixotically, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough responded eagerly to Hassan Rouhani’s election victory, announcing that the Obama administration is prepared – once again – to enter direct negotiations. “There’s a great opportunity for Iran,” said McDonough, “and the people of that storied country, to have the kind of future that they would, I think, justifiably want.”

It remains to be seen how Rouhani will conduct his term in office. But if the past is precedent, then the United States can ill-afford to sugarcoat the truly evil propensities of the Ayatollahs and of Rouhani. Doing so harms, rather than advances America’s national security interests in the Middle East.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has it right. In a recent interview with the Times of Israel, Mr. Baird said, “There’s always a reason to [delay action] another two or three months.” If the Iranian clerics want to demonstrate that they are operating in good faith “they can make meaningful progress [with the West],” he said. “These people don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.”

Mr. Baird’s analysis is spot on. Hassan Rouhani is a cunning terrorist mastermind. History shows us it would be foolish for the West to regard him as otherwise.

Mr. Raskas served in the Israel Defense Forces and is a research analyst for Secure America Now.

4 Comments

  • Proof-positive America’s presidents don’t require testicles for America to get screwed. Obama is as deficient as Carter. One would think Clinton had at least five, although Hillary found as little use for them as any other politician

  • The Americans will never understand the Middle Eastern mentality. The shah was massively unpopular due to his secret police and anyway Iranians are the kind of people who are never satisfied with what they have got. Like all the other Moslem Middle Easterners, they have got rid of “nurse” for “something worse”. They long for fundamentalism, because they don’t understand its implications, so when they have got it, they complaint that this is not what they wanted!

  • Whether Rouhani or any of the Ayatollahs or islamic “leaders” the day you trust these terrorists the West and Israel will regret this.DO NOT TRUST THESE MAD MEN.wolves in sheeps clothing

  • Whether Rouhani or any of the Ayatollahs or islamic “leaders” the day you trust these terrorists the West and Israel will regret this.DO NOT TRUST THESE MAD MEN.sheep in wolves clothing.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.