Iran: Mr. Rouhani’s Illusory Western Honeymoon……….


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“The stunning landslide election of Hassan Rowhani as Iran’s next president highlighted a deep frustration among many Iranians about the direction of their country, especially an economy marred by skyrocketing prices, stagnant salaries and dwindling job opportunities. In explaining their vote for Rowhani, many spoke of change. They alluded not to hot-button international issues such as Iran’s contentious nuclear program or its die-hard support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but to the slumping economy…………………”

Iranian elections have shown over the years that they are often unpredictable. The moderate Hassan Rouhani is the newly elected president of Iran. The people of Iran have shown they are eager to reform and engage. But probably not to surrender. There is suddenly so much talk of goodwill in Western media, especially in American media. For now.
We should remember the last reformist president of Iran. Mohammed Khatami was even more reformist, more engaging. Iran’s nuclear program was not deemed as contentious, mainly because Israel had a different government and the U.S. Congress did not act as a branch of the Likud coalition. Khatami even showed sympathy and turned a blind eye to the American invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Yet in January of 2002, Mr. Bush delivered a bad speech in which he added Mr. Khatami’s country to North Korea and Baathist Iraq in a stupidly-named Axis of Evil.
So, give it some time. Mr. Netanyahu and his omnipotent lobbyists and the U.S. Knesset Congress have not started their work on Mr. Rouhani yet. And they will.