Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Ayatollah Factor: Moderate Rouhani Does Not Change the Iranian Threat

Ayatollah Khamenei

The title of “President” in Iran is extremely different from the same title in most countries around the world. This is part of the reason for so much confusion regarding the much-heralded election of President Hassan Rouhani, a more moderate politician than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What many in the west fail to understand is that both Ahmadinejad and Rouhani are administrators at best. The real power lies almost entirely with the Ayatollah.

In regards to the pursuit of nuclear weapons, Rouhani has zero power. It is unlikely that he is even aware of all of the details surrounding Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Iran’s military is completely controlled by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, its commanders are selected by and report to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and any negotiations with President Rouhani regarding the nuclear program is as useful as negotiating with an American state governor about US foreign policy.

The Ayatollah hates America and has no problem telling us “to hell with you” as recently as a few months ago. He hates Israel and will support groups who want to “cut out the cancer” of the country as recently as last year. US President Obama may see hope in negotiating rather than treating Iran as an enemy because of a positive conversation he had with Rouhani, but there may never be another one. The Ayatollah hinted at disapproval of the simple phone call between the leader of the United States and the puppet of Iran’s government.

To think that Iran is applying their nuclear ambitions to peaceful energy means is naive. To think that the government is willing to negotiate about their absolute hatred towards the United States and Israel is just plain stupid. It’s for these reasons that statements made by President Obama about Iran’s nuclear program are baffling. Is it a bluff where the President is holding his cards when he says that Iran is conservatively a year or more away from having nuclear weapons? Do they truly believe that they can get anywhere with Rouhani, and if they do, will Rouhani really have any power to negotiate?

Is it more likely that Rouhani and the Ayatollah are simply stalling? Of course it is. Israel knows this very clearly. The United States should know it equally clearly.

Iran wants to destroy the great satan and the little satan. They have been waiting for the opportunity to truly strike fear into the rest of the world and to establish domination over other countries in the Middle East. They aren’t trying to build nuclear weapons as a deterrent for defense. They want to blow up Tel Aviv. They want to blow up New York City. They want Jerusalem, Washington DC, and anyone who would not accept their Islamic supremacy. The lack of military aggression on their part is not an indication that they are peaceful. They are simply waiting. They are stalling for as long as possible until they can turn their nuclear ambitions into a true threat. From there, they may or may not attack.

The US should not be willing to wait around at the negotiating table in hopes that the Ayatollah will have a change of heart. He will not.

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