Are You Expecting a New Iran?

One clue after the ‘deal’ was Ayatollah Khatami blatantly saying it will not lead to improved relations.

 

  • If anyone is expecting any liberalization from Rouhani, please note that he is an even more trusted regime insider than Khatami.
  • The main reason there will not be a less aggressive foreign policy is that Iran’s Presidency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which negotiated the nuclear deal, have no power over the Islamic Republic’s military, police, and intelligence agencies. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei control all decisions in these arenas.
  • Unfortunately, there has been no diminution of influence or resolve among Iran’s hard-liners, who control all of these institutions.
  • The military and theocratic cliques who dominate the regime will take full advantage of any opportunities created by the nuclear deal quickly and brutally to crush any attempt by Iranian reformers to expand political freedom or social reforms.

Are you expecting a new Iran? The most optimistic scenario by supporters of the nuclear deal with Iran is that the pact will bring about better relations between Tehran and Washington.

Unfortunately, considering the dark nature of the regime and its behavior during its 36 years of Islamist rule in Iran, this hope lacks any credibility. Given Iran’s recent history, its unremittingly hostile statements and its continuing secretive, self-serving and antagonistic behavior, there seems ample precedent for the high-flown hopes of Western diplomats to be dashed.

After the election of Mohammad Khatami as President of Iran in 1997, many of America’s most respected Iran analysts strenuously argued that the liberal evolution of Iran’s revolution was already underway[1] — wishful thinking that was also echoed by the United Kingdom’s Iran analysts and diplomats.[2]

Currently, many American diplomats, Congressional lawmakers, and acquisitive international businessmen are optimistically unpacking predictions about the current Presidency of Hassan Rouhani that are similar to their predictions about Khatami. If anyone, however, is expecting any liberalization from Rouhani, please note right now that he is an even more trusted regime insider than Khatami. Rouhani has been intimately involved in all of the Islamic Republic’s military, strategic and political decisions for the last 35 years.

The main reason there will not be a less aggressive foreign policy is that Iran’s Presidency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which negotiated the nuclear deal, have no power over the Islamic Republic’s military, police, and intelligence agencies.

The IRGC, MOIS, and the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei control all decisions in these arenas.

The pipedreams of many so-called Iran experts have had their optimistic scenarios go up in smoke before. Robin Wright, writing in June 2009, the heyday of the now-crushed “Green Movement” protests, gushed, “What they are doing, however, is forcing Iran’s Islamic regime to face the same ideals that have swept across five continents over the last quarter of a century — the supremacy of popular will, justice, accountability and the transparency of power.”

Unfortunately, there has been no diminution of influence or resolve among Iran’s hard-liners, who control all of these institutions.

On the contrary, the military and theocratic cliques who dominate the regime will take full advantage of any opportunities created by the nuclear deal quickly and brutally to crush any attempt by Iranian reformers to expand political freedom or social reforms.

Full article: Are You Expecting a New Iran? (Gatestone Institute)

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