Right from Wrong: From the mouths of mullahs

Rouhani’s New York blitz.

THIS FLOAT at a German parade has the words ‘Terror has nothing to do with religion’ written on three mullahs (monkeys). ( (photo credit: REUTERS)
THIS FLOAT at a German parade has the words ‘Terror has nothing to do with religion’ written on three mullahs (monkeys). (
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The ayatollahs in Tehran must have been kvelling this week while watching their puppet, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, receive oodles of undivided attention on the global stage. Not only did Rouhani address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, he was granted even more valuable propaganda time the previous day during a one-on-one interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace.
Both platforms enabled the key figure-head of the greatest state sponsor of international terrorism – and among the world’s worst abusers of the human rights of its own people – to make a case for his evil regime by distorting reality beyond recognition. You know, by accusing America and Israel of being the true terror-masters.
When he took to the UNGA podium, Rouhani came out of the gate running.
“At the outset, I would like to... pay homage to all the freedom-seekers of the world who do not bow to oppression and aggression, and tolerate all the hardships of the struggle for rights, as well as to the spirits of all the oppressed martyrs of terrorist strikes and bombardment in Yemen, Syria, Occupied Palestine, Afghanistan and other countries of the world,” he said. “The Middle East is burning in the flames of war, bloodshed, aggression, occupation and religious and sectarian fanaticism and extremism. And under such circumstances, the suppressed people of Palestine are the biggest victim. Discrimination, appropriation of lands, settlement expansions and killings continue to be practiced against the Palestinians.”
However, he added, “The US- and Zionist-imposed plans, such as the ‘Deal of the Century,’ recognizing Baitul Muqaddas [Jerusalem] as the capital of the Zionist regime and the accession of the Syrian Golan to the other occupied territories, are doomed to fail.”
If anyone was wondering why America and Israel would not succeed in what he implied is a pernicious plot, Rouhani explained, “In contrast to the US’s destructive plans, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regional and international assistance and cooperation on security and counter-terrorism have been much decisive. The clear example of such an approach is our cooperation with Russia and Turkey within the Astana format on the Syrian crisis, and our peace proposal for Yemen.”
As if this weren’t hilarious enough, Rouhani went on to accuse the administration in Washington of “the silent killing of a great nation and pressure on the life of 83 million Iranians, especially women and children,” and of “addictively exploit[ing] sanctions against a spectrum of countries, such as Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China and Russia.”
He then asserted that the “Iranian nation will never ever forget and forgive these crimes and criminals.”
He was referring, of course, to the alleged misdeeds of US officials, not those of Tehran, Caracas, Havana, Beijing and Moscow – allies he can count on in the pursuit of hegemony and subjugation.
THIS BLATHERING was all part of his actual agenda: to bring about a removal of the sanctions that are making it more difficult for his regime to keep its nuclear centrifuges spinning, at the expense of the poor Iranian people for whom he was pretending to weep.
As is customary for Iranian leaders, he proceeded to contradict himself – in this case by stating that Iran hasn’t been hurt by the sanctions, after all.
“[D]espite all the obstructions created by the US government, [we] are staying on the path of economic and social growth and prosperity,” he said.
Still, Rouhani offered an “alternative and proper solution” to the problems that the US has – or has not – created for Iran: “strengthen[ing] consolidation among all the nations with common interests in the Persian Gulf and the Hormuz region.”
Yes, he said, “Let’s invest in hope toward a better future rather than in war and violence. Let’s return to justice, to peace, to law, commitment and promise – and the negotiating table.... However, our patience has a limit... [O]ur response to any negotiation under sanctions is in the negative. The government and people of Iran have remained steadfast against the harshest sanctions in the past one-and-a-half years, and will never negotiate with an enemy that seeks to force Iran to surrender with the weapon of poverty, pressure and sanction.”
And then came the kicker.
“Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz,” he said – conveniently omitting Iran’s repeated aggression in that very area, most recently in the form of an attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities – “I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope,’ meaning the Hormuz Peace Endeavor... to promote peace, stability, progress and welfare for all the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region.”
That he managed to utter these words with a straight face was quite an accomplishment. But then, his UNGA audience didn’t crack a smile either – maybe because he instantly corrected his kumbaya moment by issuing a threat.
“Our region is on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire,” he warned. “We shall not tolerate the provocative intervention of foreigners. We shall respond decisively and strongly to any sort of transgression to and violation of our security and territorial integrity.”
Rouhani’s apologists at the UN and elsewhere need a little reminding about his record. 
A long-time loyalist of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, he has always backed and spearheaded the quelling of popular protests, employing any bloody means to nip them in the bud. The only real difference between him and his predecessor, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is in his strategic understanding of how to achieve Iran’s goals by presenting himself as more palatable to the West.
IN 1992, his eldest son committed suicide, leaving a note to this very effect, saying, “I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double-dealing and your hypocrisy. I am ashamed to live in an environment in which I am forced to lie to my friends every day and tell them that my father is not part of all this – to tell them that my father loves the nation and to know that the reality is far from this. I get nauseated when I see you, father, kissing Khamenei’s hand.”
Nor was it accidental that Rouhani was selected to be his regime’s chief nuclear negotiator. Addressing Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council in September 2005, he explained the purpose of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the Isfahan facility,” he said. “By creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work.”
It is this tactic that puts Rouhani in the “pragmatist” camp.
In July 2015, after the completion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was first announced, Rouhani made a speech to the Iranian public.
“Peace and blessings upon the pure souls of the prophets and the holy men, the great Prophet of Islam [Muhammad], the imams, the imam of the martyrs [Khomeini], and the exalted martyrs, especially the nuclear [scientists], and peace and blessings upon the hidden imam,” he began.
“We aspired to achieve four goals: The first was to continue the nuclear capabilities, the nuclear technology and even the nuclear activity. The second was to remove the mistaken, oppressive and inhuman sanctions. The third was to remove the Security Council resolutions that we see as illegitimate. The fourth was to remove the nuclear dossier from Chapter VII of the UN Charter and the Security Council in general. All four goals have been achieved today.”
He later referred to Israel’s warnings about the deal. “The people in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Lebanon are happy, too, because the hollow efforts of the oppressive Zionist regime to thwart the negotiations... have failed,” he said, ending with a message to the Arab countries of the region.
“Do not be misled by the propaganda of the Zionist regime and the evil-mongers of this [Iranian] nation,” he cautioned. “Iran and its might are always your might. We see the security of the region as our security, and the stability of the region as our stability.”
In the mere four years since Rouhani made this bombastic pronouncement, not only has Iran been caught repeatedly violating the conditions of the JCPOA, and not only has US President Donald Trump “ripped up” the deal, but more and more Arab countries are forging alliances with Israel to keep Tehran from completing its nuclear program and ambitions.
Now all that’s left is to hope that Rouhani’s New York blitz is treated as the dangerous sham it is.