Will Iran’s Rouhani Use Syria to Bargain?

Iran Commentary

After establishing the Iran nuclear deal as his first-term legacy, the question now is what new initiative will Iranian President Hassan Rouhani embark on during his second term? Should the international community have any expectations of Rouhani? And if Rouhani has the will to bring about any change in, for example, Syria, a big if, will it be for the better good of the Syrian people and the region? Or will he be merely looking to promote Tehran’s interests at the expense of others.

Iran’s policies in the region are considered by many to be based on double standards. How does Iran legitimize its interference in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere in the region while millions have been left killed, injured and displaced as the entire Middle East remains in turmoil?

Iran claims to seek peace, stability and cooperation in the region through negotiations with neighboring countries. Yet the status quo has changed…

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Will Iran’s Hassan Rouhani negotiate on Syria?

After establishing the Iran nuclear deal as his first-term legacy, the question now is what new initiative will Iranian President Hassan Rouhani embark on his second term? Should there be any expectation from the international community in Rouhani’s second term as this regime’s president? And if Rouhani has the will to bring about any change in for example Syria, a big if, will it be for the better good of the Syrian people and the region? Or merely seeking Iran’s interests?

Iran’s policies in the region have been considered by many to be based on double standards. How does Iran legitimize its interference in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and across the region while millions have been killed, injured and displaced as the entire region remains in turmoil?

Iran claims to seek peace, stability, and cooperation in the Middle East through negotiations with neighboring countries. Yet the status quo has changed significantly for Rouhani’s second term. Donald Trump is now the U.S. President, bringing an end to Obama’s appeasement policy and calling on all countries to isolate Iran.

Many of Iran’s regional neighbors view the regime as an ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has massacred tens of thousands of his own people.

Iran, however, continues its support for Assad, arguing international law considers Assad as the president of a legal government in Syria. Does being a legal government legitimize such measures against its own constituents?

Tehran is validating its support for the Syrian regime based on a request placed by Assad and claiming 60% of the country’s lands are in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda. And the mullahs’ regime refuses to accept the existence of a Syrian opposition that enjoys international legitimacy and support.

While the international community accepts the fact that ISIS and other terrorists must be destroyed in Syria, this does not provide the grounds for Assad, with Iran’s support, to massacre innocent civilians. Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Assad of committing war crimes and using starvation as a tool in this regard.

UN special rapporteurs and envoys have levelled very concerning allegations against the Assad regime, and for Iran to continue its support for Assad is very troubling, to say the least. The UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan da Mistura, has also cited Iran providing $6 billion a year to Assad, considered a conservative figure by many.

Iran accuses other countries of recruiting terrorists from across the globe to fight against Assad and places the blame of enormous civilian losses on their part. And yet one cannot neglect the fact that Iran is providing arms, ammunition and tens of thousands of militias to prop up the Assad regime and killing tens of thousands of civilians, as reported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Iran accuses other countries of interfering in Syria and Bahrain, for example, and yet refuses to accept its role in the Levant as such meddling by an outside party.

Iran is proposing talks with the three other regional powers, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to hold talks aimed at:

  • preserving the unity of Syria,
  • establishing a power sharing government, yet failing to determine the highly sensitive subject of the fate of Assad as president of Syria,
  • holding UN-supervised president elections.

The sensitive question is will Hassan Rouhani pressure Assad to accept such terms.

Although it is crucial to understand why Tehran’s regime is deeply interested in Syria. The Levant, under the rule of Assad, provides a land bridge to the Lebanese Hizb’allah, and thus the Mediterranean, for Iran, allowing this regime to spread its influence from its soil all across the region. In the case Iran loses its foothold in Syria, considering it its 35th province, it will be the beginning of the end of Tehran’s regional hegemony.

Such an outcome would rebound all of Iran’s dilemmas inwards and provide the grounds for social unrests to overcome the mullahs’ regime. As a result, the very nature of Iran’s ruling apparatus prevents the rendering of any meaningful change in its regional policy.

“Take into notice any change in behavior is no different from the change in the entire establishment,” said Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently.

via  Will Iran’s Hassan Rouhani negotiate on Syria? — Iran Commentary

Crunching the numbers of Iran’s presidential election

Iran Commentary

The presidential election in Iran is over, and Hassan Rouhani has been selected to a second term.  Already there are strong allegations of fraud and vote-rigging, especially from the camp loyal to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The vote-rigging industry in Iran under the mullahs’ rule has been a very long-lasting practice.  One of the most common methods is simply to multiply the true number of all the votes for all candidates, to legitimize the collective process for the better good of the entire regime apparatus.

The mullahs are also known to print a large number of voting slips, far more than enough, and place them in ballot boxes at a variety of pit stops.  This is, again, aimed at depicting a canvas of very large voter participation.

The most important example was unveiled by former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi in 2009, when he said the Interior Ministry had…

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How Is Iran’s Hassan Rouhani A Moderate?

No2Rouhani-21

Iran Commentary

Following the May 19th presidential “election” in Iran and the incumbent Hassan Rouhani reaching a second term, there was an outpouring of Western mainstream media describing him as a moderate again.

As described by the National Review, Iran’s sham election was nothing but “a ridiculous farce. In reality, an anti-American jihadist beat a slightly-worse anti-American jihadist.”

Rouhani was the first Iranian regime official in the early days after the mullahs’ hijacking of the 1979 revolution who openly called for public executions.

He Is #Rouhani is he a #MODERATE?!!!
watch & share 2 others know him#humanrights#executions#humanity#UK#Terrorism#IranElections2017pic.twitter.com/R5mjOgwCdB

— Shawn HarrisⓂ️ (@HarrisShawn5) May 23, 2017

During Rouhani’s first tenure (owing it to the ultraconservative Guardian Council, a 12-cleric body appointed directly and indirectly by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that vets candidates of all elections in Iran), the regime in Iran:

  • sent over 3,000 to…

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Misreporting Iran

By KELLY JANE TORRANCE

From the June 5 Issue of The Weekly Standard

The ‘moderate’ is also a liar with blood on his hands.

 

Source: Misreporting Iran

Hassan ‘The Facilitator’ Rouhani Wins Iran Election

Rouhani2

 Provided a second term not by the people but the ruling elite, Hassan Rouhani is merely another tear of the cloth known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. He provided the grounds needed for Tehran to go “ahead with multiple ballistic missile tests, fired rockets close to American warships in international waters, revealed a new missile bunker, assumed an intransigent posture with respect to a full accounting of past nuclear research, sanctioned the capture of American sailors and the harassing of our ships in the Gulf, and dispatched Iranian agents to Germany in search of nuclear technology,” as explained by the Financial Times.
There are also signs of Rouhani’s initiatives inflicting permanent damage to the mullahs’ rule. Through the course of his campaign trail Rouhani raised the stakes of his ousting by the senior ruling clerics, unveiling secrets of the regime’s dark history and pledges he obviously has no intention, let alone ability, to meet.
Rouhani’s practices have already sidelined the regime’s higher ranks, and considering the rigged nature of Iran’s voter turnout numbers, he is on course to disappoint the dismal few who actually did vote for him. As seen in the past 38 years, the road ahead with Rouhani as Iran’s president — a puppet of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — will prove the fact that reform from within in Iran is nothing but a hoax.
Rouhani is known to be the first Iranian regime official to openly call for public executions in order to inflict a graver influence on the general public and impose a certain climate of fear to quell dissent.
“Conspirators should be hanged in Friday prayers for people to see them and to have more of an impact,” he said on July 14th, 1980.

“Conspirators should be hanged in Friday prayers for people to see them and to have more of an impact,” he said on July 14th, 1980.

 

At an “election” rally Rouhani went as far as emphasizing that “the people will say no to those who over the course of 38 years only executed and jailed.” This is considered a clear reference to Ebrahim Raisi, his then conservative rival known for his notorious role in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners across the country.

While Raisi played a leading part, Rouhani, then a member of the regime’s so-called parliament, was fully informed of the atrocities in the regime’s dungeons and remained through the course, and to this day. Ever since, the Iranian regime has portrayed the issue as a taboo and no-man’s land in order to maintain a lid on it.
And yet a major campaign is ongoing inside the country and abroad, with brave activists rising to the challenge and demanding answers about the regime’s atrocities in general, especially the executions of the entire 1980s.
Rouhani also served as Iran’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for decades and orchestrated the horrific crackdown of the 1999 student uprising, a prelude of the 2009 nationwide outburst. Rouhani has also boasted how he deceived the European Troika in in the 2003 nuclear talks, providing Iran the opportunity to maintain their nuclear program, only to expel UN inspectors in 2005 and relaunch the regime’s nuclear weapons drive with firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.
More recently, Rouhani is also supervising the regime’s ongoing need to maintain a certain degree of domestic crackdown. Over 3,000 people were sent to the gallows during Rouhani’s first term, and ironically, his minister of justice has been none other than Mostafa Pourmohammadi, another member in the four-man commission overseeing the 1988 massacre.
While Rouhani in the elections surprisingly warned the Revolutionary Guards not to interfere in the regime’s so-called election process, his first term provided the platform of the Guards expanded their reach across the region. Rouhani’s remarks just two days after the election façade are quite interesting.
He “pledged the mullahs’ regime will continue their warmongering in the Middle East, adding they are on the ground in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon… ‘Iran has and will support these efforts through its diplomats and military advisors’,” he said according to a statement released by Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Considering the fact that Rouhani lacks the ability or will to realize any change in Tehran’s foundations and conduct, measures are now needed to correctly confront the mullah’s flagrant human rights violations, expanding ballistic missile program, and support for terrorism, extremism and meddling in other states.
The recent Arab Islamic American Summit sent such a necessary message to this regime.
Heshmat Alavi  Heshmat Alavi is a political and rights activist. His writing focuses on Iran, ranging from human rights violations, social crackdown, the regime’s support for terrorism and meddling in foreign countries, and the controversial nuclear program.
He tweets at @HeshmatAlavi & blogs at IranCommentary

Source: Hassan ‘The Facilitator’ Rouhani Wins Iran Election