Iran’s ‘Moderates’ Still Hate America
When talking about politics in Iran, Western media outlets divide the leadership into the “reformists” and the “hardliners.” The reformists are supposed to be the “good guys” and the hardliners the “bad guys.” Yet this division is misleading, and not entirely true.
There is indeed a difference between the reformists and the hardliners. The difference is that they belong to two major classes of the Islamic Republic. It is not necessarily ideology, but affiliation and power politics that make the difference. The reformists belong to the Khomeinist faction, and the hardliners to the Khameneist faction.
Those who call themselves reformists were mostly close affiliates of the first supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. They were sidelined after his death in 1989 by the advocates of the next — and now incumbent — supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But the truth is that many of these so-called reformists who now put themselves up as “America-friendly Muslims” were the first to scale the walls of the US Embassy in Tehran, while chanting “Death to America” after the 1979 revolution. Such was the anti-American/anti-Israeli zeal of these people that, in addition to sending troops to Lebanon to “wipe” Israel off the face of the earth, they established the relentless Hezbollah in Lebanon (which has targeted America as well as Israel). They also ruthlessly tried to wipe out their political opponents.
By making overtures to the Americans, these reformists hoped to enlist the services of the “Great Satan” to undermine the clique of the supreme leader so that they themselves can re-attain power in Iran. Ideology-wise, however, they still hate America.
The Western media has been fooled by this charade. We shouldn’t be.