It really shouldn’t be difficult to understand Iran’s presidential election, assuming you pay attention to such things. If you get your news from the mainstream media, however, it might be close to impossible to understand it. As Paul demonstrates, going a little bit out of your way online you can quickly find just about everything you need to know about the election and the winner, one Hassan Rouhani. Take, for example, Avi Isacharoff’s “The regime wanted him to win.”
Let there be no doubt. The Supreme Leader remains the Supreme Leader. A Western diplomat who spoke to AFP described the list of presidential candidates as “not in shades of grey, but all black” and emphasized that “all candidates with a chance of winning are either related to the leader or to the security apparatus.”
A friend points out that Rouhani carries into office credentials stretching back to the Iranian revolution. He was an early follower of Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He joined Khomeini in exile in Paris and followed him into Iran. He subsequently moved through Iran’s political system. He was Iran’s top nuclear negotiator with the EU3 – Britain, France, and Germany – and his boasts of having prolonged those negotiations while Iran expanded its nuclear program became a key point of contention during the election.
You can take a good guess whom Prime Minister Netanyahu had in mind with his slightly more guarded reaction: “Regarding the elections in Iran, we do not delude ourselves,” Netanyahu said yesterday. “The international community must not be caught up in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program.”