Iran Throws a Curveball

The world is listening.

As we already know in the West, politics is all about presentation. If you want to drone babies in the Middle East you can’t very well do it with a cowboy hat on, hollering “Yee Haw,” which is loosely the impression that George W. Bush gave off. Instead you need to get in a crypto-Muslim mulatto house boy to wrong foot the Liberals and rag heads, then you can go right ahead and drone away. The same technique also applies with regard to imposing an increasingly Orwellian police state: no one believes a doofus like Obama could ever be Big Brother, so who better to front the actual process?

With the election yesterday of Iran’s new President, 64-year-old Hassan Rowhani, it seems the Iranians are learning the same tricks. Out goes Mahmoud “wipe Israel from the map of the World” Ahmadinejad, who actually looks strangely like a Middle Eastern version of Bush, and in comes some fluffy-bearded granddad figure, widely described in the Western media as “a moderate cleric.”

Of course, with the religion being Islam, the degree of moderation is entirely relative, but, then, the Western establishment is already tied to the notion of seeing Islam as the religion of peace and little pink bunny rabbits, so the Islam part is not going to be a problem. The main point, however, is that the Iranians have chosen someone as leader who is (a) unlikely to alter Iran’s policies and (b) will make it much harder to demonize the country for holding to those policies.

Demonization is important because what Iran has been doing, the acts and policies that have brought it into conflict with America, are not particularly extreme or demonic. This is also another reason why Iran is unlikely to backtrack on these policies, as, from their point of view, they are eminently sensible.

In an age when Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea are members of the nuclear club, it seems perfectly reasonable for one of the great historical powers, such as Iran is, to have nuclear weapons. This is clearly what the Iranians believe and are working towards.

As for supporting President Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in the Lebanon, both these related policies seem fairly reasonable in view of the fact that the US-endorsed rebels are cannibalistic, Al-Qaeda-inspired dirtbags intent on genocide against Syria’s Alawites and Christians. In short, Rowhani’s election will give these common sense, moderate Iranian positions – whether one agrees with them or not – the human face in the rest of the world that they have always deserved.

Western NGOs – fingers in a lot of pies.
But Rowhani’s election is also about what’s going on inside Iran. Just as the ongoing riots in Turkey demonstrated, most of the Islamic world suffers from a cultural split that could loosely be compared to the liberal/ conservative split in America. This was brought out into the open in Iran by the extremely polarizing 2009 election and its aftermath. Following Ahmadinejad’s victory against Mir Hossein Mousavi the country was rocked by the protests of the stifled colour revolution of the so-called Green Movement – with the usual, suspicious fingerprints of Western NGOs (sic) on it!

This time around, with Mousavi under house arrest, it was a much quieter campaign. The interesting point, however, is that Rowhani managed to attract the votes of those who previously supported Mousavi. For this reason the result is being presented as a "surprise triumph" for Iran’s reformist movement and a slap in the face for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, who occupies a kind of monarchical position to the president’s more prime ministerial role.

But the fact is that Rowhani, who has served as head of Iran’s national security council and chief nuclear negotiator, is very much part of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary establishment and is not a reformer.

He managed to win over liberal reformist voters by nothing more than a few ambiguous comments and gestures, such as criticising the country’s “security atmosphere” and attending the funeral of a dissident cleric. In other words he bought the opposition vote cheaply.

Rather than ushering in reform and a backtracking on current policies, Rowhani’s electoral victory represents a strengthening of the Iranian regime and a continuation of its policies, with a vast improvement in its PR and the internal cohesion of the country. This makes it a much stronger ally for Syria, Russia, and China and a more effective opponent of America, Israel, and the undemocratic Gulf States, who will probably be next to wrestle with the Zohak serpents of democracy.

Colin Liddell
Alternative Right 
15th of June, 2013

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