Leveretts and Marandi: “Rouhani Won the Iranian Election. Get Over it.”

Please click on the embedded video here or above to hear Hillary Mann Leverett on CNN on the election of Hassan Rouhani as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and see the analysis below written by Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett and Seyed Mohammad Marandi, originally published by Al Jazeera, linked and pasted below:

 Rouhani Won the Iranian Election. Get Over it.**

By Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett, and Seyed Mohammad Marandi

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/201361681527394374.html

The United States’ perennially mistaken Iran “experts” are already spinning Hassan Rouhani’s victory in Iran’s presidential election as a clear proof of the Islamic Republic’s ongoing implosion. In fact, Rouhani’s success sends a very different message: it is well past time for the US to come to terms with the reality of a stable and politically dynamic Islamic Republic of Iran.

Three days before the election, we warned that US and expatriate Iranian pundits were confidently but wrongly positing how Iran’s election process would “be manipulated to produce a winner chosen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei – a “selection rather than an election” – consolidating Khamenei’s dictatorial hold over Iranian politics”. Many, like the Brookings Institution’s Suzanne Maloney, identified nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili as Khamenei’s “anointed” candidate; the Washington Post declared that Rouhani “will not be allowed to win”.

By contrast, we held that Iran was “in the final days of a real contest”, during which candidates had “broad and regular access to national media”, had “advertised and held campaign events”, and had “participated in three nationally televised (and widely watched) debates”. The election “will surprise America’s so-called Iran ‘experts’,” we wrote, for the winner will emerge “because he earned the requisite degree of electoral support, not because he was ‘annointed'”.

The real contest

Rouhani’s victory demonstrates that the election was a real contest, and that the perceived quality of candidates’ campaigns mattered greatly in many Iranians’ decisions for whom to vote. In the end, most Iranians seemed to believe – and acted as if they believed – that they had a meaningful choice to make. Besides the presidential ballot, Iranians voted for more than 200,000 local and municipal council seats – with more than 800,000 candidates standing for those seats – a “detail” never mentioned by those constantly deriding the Islamic Republic’s “dictatorship”.

Certainly, Western “experts” were wrong that former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s disqualification had driven Iranians into a state of political alienation and apathy. Rafsanjani is, at this point, not a popular figure for many Iranians; he almost certainly would have lost had he been on this year’s ballot. Rafsanjani’s sidelining was a necessary condition for the rise of Rouhani, a Rafsanjani protege.

More broadly, Rafsanjani’s dream has been to build a pragmatic centre in Iranian politics, eschewing “extremes” of both conservatives – or “principlists”, as they are called in Iran – and reformists. Instead, he has antagonised both camps without creating an enduring constituency committed to a centrist vision.

The election of Rouhani – the only cleric on the ballot, who campaigned against “extremism” in all forms and was endorsed by Rafsanjani – may contribute more to realising Rafsanjani’s dream than another unsuccessful Rafsanjani presidential bid.

Going into the campaign, Rouhani’s biggest weakness was foreign policy; in 2003-05, during Rouhani’s tenure as chief nuclear negotiator, Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment for nearly two years, but got nothing from Western powers in return. In fact, criticism of Rouhani’s negotiating approach was an important factor in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first election to the presidency in 2005.

During this year’s campaign, Rouhani effectively addressed this potential vulnerability, arguing that his approach allowed Iran to avoid sanctions while laying the ground for the subsequent development in its nuclear infrastructure. Moreover, Rouhani’s campaign video included praise from armed forces chief of staff General Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi, which bolstered Rouhani’s perceived credibility on security issues.

In the week between the third candidates’ debate – on foreign policy – and election day, polls showed with accumulating clarity that Rouhani was building the strongest momentum of any candidate, along with Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf – who came in second, and whom we flagged two days before the vote as a likely contender with Rouhani in a second-round runoff.

By election day, polls showed Rouhani pulling ahead of Qalibaf and his other opponents – a sharp contrast to Iran’s 2009 presidential election, when no methodologically sound poll ever showed former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi ahead of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Key to Rouhani’s success was his ability to forge coalitions, especially with reformists. Rouhani is not himself a reformist. He belongs to the Society of Combatant Clergy, the conservative antipode to the Assembly of Combatant Clerics founded by Mohammad Khatami – who became Iran’s first reformist president in 1997 – and other reform-minded clerics. Overall, Rouhani’s share of the vote was higher in small towns and villages, where people are more conservative, than in larger cities – largely because he is a cleric.

The real reformist on this year’s ballot was Mohammad Reza Aref, who served as Khatami’s first vice-president. Aref, however, proved a lacklustre candidate and attracted little popular support. Other reformists pressed him to quit after the final candidates’ debate, which freed Khatami to endorse Rouhani. While reformists were not the core of Rouhani’s electoral base, their votes were crucial to getting him over the 50 percent threshold.

Iran’s 2013 presidential election also confirms a point we have been making for four years – that, contrary to Western conventional wisdom, no hard evidence has been put forward showing that Iran’s 2009 presidential election, when Ahmadinejad won re-election over Mousavi and two other opponents, was “stolen”.

No post-election gatherings

Even so, Iran’s political system adopted last year a law creating an election commission to oversee and certify the Interior Ministry’s conduct of the 2013 election. This and other systemic responses to potential or real abuse – such as the closure of the Kahrizak Detention Centre where cases of police brutality were reported after the 2009 election – demonstrate the Islamic Republic’s capacity to reform itself.

Pointing this out in the West prompts slanderous accusations of murderous appeasement – but those who make such accusations are consistently proven wrong, as Iranian politics regularly defies their cartoonish and derogatory stereotypes.

The biggest difference from 2009 is the behaviour of the candidates themselves. This year, all of the candidates agreed not to hold post-election gatherings or make statements about the outcome until all votes were counted and final results officially announced. They stuck to this agreement as the Interior Ministry periodically announced partial results coming in from polling stations across Iran. Despite the fact that president-elect Rouhani won by just 261,251 votes over the 50 percent threshold, his rivals immediately issued messages of congratulations, as did Ayatollah Khamenei.

Compare that with 2009, when – while polls were still open and no votes had been counted – Mousavi declared to have official “information” that he had won “by a substantial margin”. This set the stage for him to claim fraud and call supporters into the streets to protest, giving birth to the Green Movement. When Mousavi failed to back up his charge of fraud with a shred of hard evidence, the Greens’ popular base shrank dramatically – because they were no longer challenging a particular election outcome, but the very idea of the Islamic Republic as a political system.

Notwithstanding the Greens’ failure, the movement has ever since been a primary vessel for the fantasies of Iranian expatriates, pro-Israel advocates and Western interventionists – that Western-style secular democracy would replace participatory Islamist governance in Iran.

But reformists and their centrist allies – who support the Islamic Republic, even if their visions for its future differ from those of Iranian principlists – distanced themselves from the Green Movement. This enabled them to regroup and to learn lessons from the 2009 election, from Rafsanjani’s presidential defeat in 2005, and from Khatami’s setbacks during his presidency that proved crucial to Rouhani’s electoral success this year.

The United States and the West need to get over the pernicious wishful thinking that the Islamic Republic is not an enduring and legitimate system for Iranians living in their country. And the Islamic Republic’s core features of participatory Islamist governance and foreign policy independence have broad appeal not just in Iran, but for hundreds of millions of Muslims across the Middle East. It’s time for the US to come to terms with that reality.

**Please note, the title of this piece stems from the title we gave an article four years ago which infuriated Washington’s Iran “experts” and foreign policy elite.  That piece can be seen here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23745.html

 

 

154 Responses to “Leveretts and Marandi: “Rouhani Won the Iranian Election. Get Over it.””

  1. masoud says:

    That’s the harshest headline I’ve had to deal with in four years of reading fri/gtt.

  2. martina n says:

    Thank you Hilary, Flynt and Mohammad for what I can only call a double-bearding of an article, putting the West (TM) and detractors of the Islamic Republic and Velayat-e Faqih firmly into their place.

    I agree, that regime sidelined Rafsanjani so that Rouhani could step to victory which belies West (TM) prediction that election rigged…. hurrah for Islamic Republic and Leader.

  3. Smith says:

    I loved it when Hillary slapped the CNN anchor who tried to put words in Hillary’s mouth and patronize her. Only a real intellectual can do that.

  4. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    (From previous thread) You agree that Iran destroyed its own air force in the wake of the revolution in 1979? And that Iran’s leaders threatened to bring revolution to a number of neighboring countries?

  5. James Canning says:

    Let’s remember that the Clinton administration was interested in improving America’s relations with Iran, and Iran was trying to bring US oil companies into Iran for projects. Starting with Conoco.

    Israel lobby wrecked the deal.

  6. James Canning says:

    When the Conservative coalition came into power in Britain, William Hague announced his intention to seek better relations with Iran. Hague was serious.

    Iran’s blunders with 20% U helped the Israel lobby to wreck Hague’s programme.

  7. James Canning says:

    Emir of Qatar will soon transfer power to the Crown Prince (eldest son). Prime Minister of Qatar also plans to retire.

  8. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    That is not true; Clinton wanted to bankrupt Iranian government; his government began the economic war against Iran.

    As things stand today, there could be a generalized war from Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea before this year is out.

    It is Axis Powers’ choice how far they want to go.

    I personally doubt that they are ready for a prolonged war across such a vast area.

  9. Karl.. says:

    Rd,

    From the last post.

    ” Would Rohani presidency ease the tensions?”

    You could say, Iranians know carpets and they know how to pull one from under someone’s feet!!!!

    The core principals of IRI will not change. As fyi suggest, the sanctions are not likely to go away.. A monkey wrench has been thrown into the equation. Will have to wait for the dust to settle.”

    Yes sanctions sure wont be eased but hopefully the general climate? Iranian boogeyman is gone(a-jad), without knowing too much about Rohani, he remind me a bit of Khatami, which west “loved”.

  10. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Americans told him to leave or else.

  11. Iranian says:

    Excellent article. It reminds of a previous article that they wrote together 4 years ago:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23745.html
    Again, well done.

  12. A-B says:

    (wrote this for the previous thread before noticing this one)

    The Leveretts, commenting the elections yesterday on RT, said that Iran can’t hope for getting anything in return even if she makes concessions in the nuclear talks with the 5+1. Since the sanctions are made into law by the US Congress they can be removed only if Iran stops supporting ‘terrorism’ (i.e. Hezbollah and Syria) if I understand correctly. So, Iran will be promised to have [some] sanctions lifted by the ‘International Community’ if the West can have its way with Syria, vouching another victory to the Saudis and the Israelis, to further entangle Iranians. And, of course, we know, all too well (and Rohani should be the expert!), that even IF Iran would be accommodating, the promises will not be fulfilled by the West. So shall we count on a Déjà vu all over again? No, thank God for the SL!

    And it is very likely, as also Karl implied previously, that the new President is used by the West and Russia as another face-saving lifeline. (cf. Putin’s pathetic interview on RT.) They blame the failure in ‘negotiation’ with Iran on the ‘ill-mannered’ Ahmadinejad, who constantly ‘threatened’ (!!) their little racist darling Israel, and now that the ‘Iranian hero’ (during whose term Iran may have evaded hot war with the West) is gone they can do business with – what they think a weaker – Iran. In this aspect, could it be that France wants to improve her position by implicating the Brits; who in turn unleashed ‘The Snowden’ (the NSA scandal) to punish Obama for not having intervened in Syria already (cf. W G Tarpley)?

    I hope the elected President Rohani will care for and be a good representative for the Iranian people.

  13. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “Hague’s programme.”

    … make the Syrian people pay for their support for the “wrong” regime. Unfortunately, this is an objective which the Anglos will be able to achieve, just as the Israelis did on Lebanon and Gaza. Of course, this will not win the hearts and minds of this population, but it will make the Anglos feel good about themselves – “we kicked the butts of these sand niggers” and it will send a strong and clear message to the rest of the planet: submit and obey, or else “we will bomb you to the stone age” to use Secretary Baker’s threat to Tarek Aziz. The Anglos have a long and distinguished history of making the civilians pay for the “wrong” political choices: from the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, to the crippling sanctions against Iran and Iraq, to the subversion of Cuba, Nicaragua, San Salvador and Venezuela, to the bombings of Serbia and Montenegro, to the comprehensive deconstruction of the Iraqi and Libyan polities, to the wrecking of the Afghan and Pakistani societies: the same “solution” has been used by the Anglo Empire over and over again. The beauty of this option, at least in the eyes of the Anglos, is that it can either lead to “victory” (Serbia, Libya) or the possibility to “declare victory and leave” (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan), another old US military tradition.

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/what-could-sustained-air-campaign-by.html

  14. Liz says:

    Very hard hitting and courageous. This is the only website where one can consistently read useful articles in English on Iran.

  15. Smith says:

    Iranian air force performance during Iran-Iraq war (Despite all the sanctions and US/British/French/USSR support for Iraqi side): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E2%80%93World_War_II_air-to-air_combat_losses

  16. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Iran lost most of its best pilots, before Iraq even attacked. In fact, this blunder helped encourage Iraqi attack.

  17. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Most ofthe best pilots fled the country, were killed or imprisoned.

  18. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Are you including Turks, when you say “Anglos”? Saudis?

  19. Rd. says:

    Karl.. says:

    “Iranian boogeyman is gone(a-jad), ”.

    The boogeyman is still there INDEPENDENCE…. and will continue courtesy of the new strategy called, Ba Darak….

  20. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Are Jews “Anglos”, in your lexicon?

  21. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Define “independence”. Is China “independent”, in your view?

  22. James Canning says:

    A-B,

    What specifically did you find objectionable, about Putin’s comments?

  23. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Conoco wanted the $2 billion deal with Iran. Other major US oil companies wanted opportunity to make deals in Iran. For obvious reasons.

    Israel lobby blocked it. If you want to say Bill Clinton was coerced by rich and powerful proponents of always doing Israel’s bidding, so be it.

  24. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    to repeat: William Hague wanted to improve Britain’s relations with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

    Iran BLUNDERED with its nuclear programme, specifically in announcing intention to treble production of 20 percent uranium. Iran helped Israel lobby block Hague’s programme. FULL STOP.

  25. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Where you seem to lose focus, is simply in seeing the results of Iran’s blunder (civil war in Syria), as something William Hague wanted from day one.

  26. kooshy says:

    If Rohani is smart will chose Dr. Marandi as his Foreign Minster

  27. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    “Nico,(From previous thread) You agree that Iran destroyed its own air force in the wake of the revolution in 1979? And that Iran’s leaders threatened to bring revolution to a number of neighboring countries?”

    Yes the Shah of Iran blundered badly by not getting nukes and icbm much sooner.
    It would have detered your disgusting power logic.

    You claim to be in favor of an Iran without enrichment and nuclear capability.
    However it is quite ironic that all your non argumentative positions only call for the opposite.

    But I do not blame you, it is beyond your reasoning and ingrained it your supremacist psyche.

  28. A-B says:

    On RT’s interview with Putin (if I remember enough)

    – He was uncomfortable with very relevant questions critical of US’s not only anti-Iranian actions but also US’s anti-Russian stance.

    – Good that he praised Iran, but claims Russia has kept her promises!! Putin acknowledges Iran’s rights to enrich uranium and that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, so why the illegal sanctions? Are they imposed just because of Ahmadinejad’s non-threats against Israel?

    – I argued that Russia (and China) cannot possibly say they couldn’t foresee the West’s plan for Libya
    ( http://www.raceforiran.com/the-islamic-republic-of-iran-and-the-struggle-for-syria#comment-87252)
    When I wrote that I had in mind the Punic War (Rome’s war on Carthage; pretty much same geographical location as Libya) and that the imperialists cynically signal their evil intention calling the operation ‘Odessey Dawn’!! (why not call it the ‘Mediterranean Cruise’?) Not to mention that neither Russia nor China could have forgotten what the West did to Yugoslavia (NATO BOMBED China’s embassy in Belgrade, for heaven’s sake!), Chechnya, Afghanistan… Actually, when he now specifically mentioned ‘Punic peace’ made me sick to my stomach. If I would be Syrian, I wouldn’t unequivocally call Russia a friend for bringing the battle ground and carnage to Syria, even if they ARE preventing Syria to become another Libya (of course, the Anglo-American love to do the same tricks as many times as possible, to practically making fool of everyone)

    And, IMHO, the Russians would treat Iran even worse than Syria!!

  29. Smith says:

    Dr. David Kelly was imprisoned shortly and summarily executed using the ancient method of draining blood by British regime. Subsequently UK was defeated by Iran in Iraq because of that action. And at any rate, UK needs several hundred nuclear ICBMs’ pointed at it for the safety of the world. They have fascistic tendencies and megalomaniac goals for the world, lying all the time and creating Fitneh and hatred everywhere through their deceptions.

  30. Smith says:

    “If Rohani is smart will chose Dr. Marandi as his Foreign Minster”

    Too bad, US president does not have such freedom of action in US as compared to Iranian president, since his post is increasingly a puppet one. But if POTUS was smart he would appoint one Leverett as foreign secretary and the other one as ambassador to Tehran.

  31. jay says:

    Once again, for those who purport that UK want to improve relations – evidence is to the contrary!

    Here is evidence with respect to Syria.

    The country some people claim wants “good relations” is the same country that planned the overthrow of Assad during the time it was sending envoys to Syria to ask for friendly relations. That country is UK.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-french-foreign-minister-the-war-against-syria-was-planned-two-years-before-the-arab-spring/5339112

  32. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Saudi Arabia and Qatar made a cencerted effort to improve relations with Syria, and induce changes in Syrian gov’t policy. William Hague wanted to improve Britain’s relations with Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah.

    Then Iran announced its intention to treble production of 20 percent uranium.

    In my view, a major mistake.

  33. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Opinion is divided (in the medical community) regarding whether Dr. Kelley took his own life. Weight appears to be on side that this is what happened. Sadly.

  34. James Canning says:

    A-B,

    Surely you are aware the bomb damage to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an accident.

    Putin does not see the civil war in Syria as being “anti-Russian”. And it isn’t.

  35. M.Ali says:

    James, whats your hard-on about the 20%? You’ve been talking about it for at least four years.

    You do know that the attacks on Iran started before the 20%, right? Just let it go, man.

  36. James Canning says:

    A-B,

    Surely you are aware that Obama and his generals were very reluctant to have the US intervene militarily in Libya. For very good reasons.

  37. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Let us get the record straight: I favor Iranian enrichment of uranium to 5% or lower. FAVOR. Not oppose.

  38. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Does China suffer from a “supremacist psyche”? China insists Iran stop enriching to 20 percent.

  39. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm
    “Nico,Does China suffer from a “supremacist psyche”? China insists Iran stop enriching to 20 percent.”

    Unsourced and unfounded assertion.
    To the contrary China stated its acceptance of Iran enrichment as per TNP rules which one allow 20% enrichment and above.
    China only support a 20% deal as a way to find an arrangement with the west.

    Please stop using this exhausted and void argument which is a makes believe of China coehsion with the western stance while it is absolutely wrong as it ceased years ago.

    As for China non existant ever supremacy, UK should humbly request China to pardon them for the horrible policies implemented when UK was still worth something as a power in the pacific ocean.

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    “Nico,Let us get the record straight: I favor Iranian enrichment of uranium to 5% or lower. FAVOR. Not oppose.”

    Who cares which limits you favor for Iran while UK is engineering wars, implement divide and rule policies, have a track record of supremacy and crimes and continue at world stage and still develop and upgrade their nukes to this day.
    As long as UK do not show the example, there is no need for you to express your favor or disfavor.

  40. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    “A-B,Surely you are aware the bomb damage to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an accident.Putin does not see the civil war in Syria as being “anti-Russian”. And it isn’t.”

    Me think you got it wrong when you read the financial times !
    Did you not notice that NATO is only camable of surgical strikes ?

    Regarding Russia, do you mean, like the missile shield in Poland ?
    Laughable.

  41. James Canning says:

    Taki writes June 7th: “William Hague. . . should tell the Israelis if they continue to accuse his office of anti-Semitism, they might get what they’ve been whining about this last 65 years.” (Takimag.com)

  42. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    “Jay,Saudi Arabia and Qatar made a cencerted effort to improve relations with Syria, and induce changes in Syrian gov’t policy. William Hague wanted to improve Britain’s relations with Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah.Then Iran announced its intention to treble production of 20 percent uranium.In my view, a major mistake.”

    Laughable.
    Your underlying assumption is that UK should be involved in foreign countries sovereign rights.
    Racist, supremacist and exceptionalist thinking while UK have an horrendous track record in the region.

    With such assertions as yours it is quite ironic that the only conclusion is that UK should be defintely bloody nosed and kicked out of the region.

    Hope UK constituencies are wiser and do not follow the same logic as yours.
    But again, I think your position is not that bad compared to the average UK policy. That says much about UK policies !

  43. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The foolish scheme to put a missile defence system in the Czech Republic, with radar stations in Poland, was not “anti-Russia” – – though Putin saw it that way. It was a scam to sell unnecessary weapons, and demonise Iran into the bargain.

    And it had ZERO to do with civil war in Syria. Or with Russia’s access to port facilities for naval ships.

  44. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You appear to arggue that Iran should defy Russia and China and stockpile 20 percent uranium. I think this is a good way for Iran to end up not enriching any uranium whatever.

  45. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Surely you are aware that bombs sometimes miss their targets.

  46. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    China has warned Iran not to try to close the shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf etc.

    You are delusional if you think China and Russia are not concerned about Iranian stockpiling of 20 percent uranium. Delusional.

  47. James Canning says:

    Tom Friedman to Mehdi Hasan: “Let’s go inside American politics for a second. . . President Bush the first stood outside the White House one day and said, “I’m one lonely man standing up against the Israel lobby.'”

    Very true, sadly.

  48. James Canning says:

    The great Taki, June 7th: “After Count Bernadotte’s murder in Jerusalem by the Stern Gang – – Yitzhak Shamir to be exact – – a Swedish newspaper denounced the killing in a very moderate tone and was compared to Himmler by the usual suspects. Now the Israelis are screaming anti-Semitism because they continue to build houses on land that doesn’t belong to them.”

  49. James Canning says:

    Youtube has a video of Mehdi Hasan asking Bernard-Henri Levy why he supported military intervention in Libya, and calls for it in Syria, but he does not seem to want it in Palestine to protect Palestinian civilians. June 6th.

  50. jay says:

    nico says:
    June 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The underlying assumption can be summarized in the following fictional encounter:

    A well-dressed man comes up to you with his hand extended to shake your hand. While he is shaking your hand his friend will attempt to pick your pocket as planned. If you catch on and object, the well-dressed man will throw a tantrum accusing you of impropriety – which then justifies his trying to punch you in the gut! If you defend yourself, you are accused of aggressive action! and so on…

  51. Nariman says:

    M.Ali

    {James, whats your hard-on about the 20%? You’ve been talking about it for at least four years. You do know that the attacks on Iran started before the 20%, right? Just let it go, man.}

    Please don’t engaged with this person. He is ignorant where is obvious he is not going to learn a damn thing from discussions here. He might have hidden agenda to behave this way. He is gullible enough to think the reason behind Iran/US tense relations is either Iranian 20% enrichment without knowing the history behind it or trick of zionist lobby to wage war. He is so ignorant that never ask himself a question that this may be US foreign policy and Obama is the executioner of this SAVAGE policy. Did Israel lobby killed the indigenous population and took over their land or stole half of Mexico by waging war using lies and deception like we did in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere?

  52. Nariman says:

    A-B says:
    June 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I agree with you completely. People who think {Surely you are aware the bomb damage to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was an accident.} are gullible.

  53. Nariman says:

    {Let us get the record straight: I favor Iranian enrichment of uranium to 5% or lower. FAVOR. Not oppose}

    Iran or Iranian are not forming their policies based on YOUR FAVOR. Expose savage US plicies.

  54. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    james you have made this same ridiculous statement time and time again,you have never once produced one single iota of proof to back it up indeed I would say the actions of the west both past and present thoroughly contradict your claims,yet you still try and place the blame on iran for the deliberate actions of the west,so plase I`m sure I speak for most people here when I say Proof please or stfu

  55. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm
    The problem is not iran closing the straits,its the west by its actions not leaving iran any choice but to close the straits,and I`ve no doubt that both the russians and chinese made their concerns about the consequences of any ill considered military action on the part of the west crystal clear to the wests leaders,as it would be this ill considered action and only this that could lead to the closing of the straits by iran

  56. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    These ones didnt miss,the story was that they didnt know that the target they were attacking was the chinese embassy,which I have to say is laughable,as far as I and a lot of others are concerned this was no different to the attack on the belgrade tv station,ie a deliberate attack

  57. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm
    The russians certainly saw it in those terms and only an idiot would fail to see that they would,it made as much sense as the russians putting abm systems in cuba to defend against non existent canadian missiles,how do you think the us would feel about that,they would see it as being aimed at them and they would be stupid not too.Once again james you give the west the benefit of the doubt

  58. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Leveretts-jan, Dr. Marandi-jan,
    Excellent analysis.

    Thank you for pointing out the real important issue of the city and village elections. The historic significance of the local council elections cannot be overstated.

    As I have said many times, we were a feudal, majority illiterate society less than 50 years ago and today this awesome, beautiful thing. I mean these are the fathers and mothers and siblings and children of those who went and sacrificed themselves to defend these towns and villages.

    I’m remembering those beautiful friends that are in a much better place now and I’m crying tears of joy.

    Most important our own beloved Islam of Ahlul Bayt brought democracy to Iran, not apeing secular westerners. Our beloved Islam brought democracy to Iran.

    And this is why your former co-workers in the US government want the takfiri version of Islam to prevail and the Ahlul Bayt version of Islam to be crushed. If the Muslims hear about Ali (as) and Hussein (as) and if they then see what victories Imam Khomeini (ra) and the Iranians achieved they might want overthrow the beasts that are ruling them.

    Wake up Hussein Obama! Drop the takfiris and get with Hussein (as)!

    Some might not be happy that these former peasants and workers-men and women, young and old- are taking the management of their own towns and city into their own hands.

    KHOB BE DARAK! God is happy about it.

    The city and village council elections deserves hundreds of articles, documentaries, movies, special reports, novels, books.

    It would be nice if you wrote an article about this matter.

  59. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Very classy speech by Hadad-Adel in Majlis in his function as the chairman of the principalist faction congratulating Rohani

    http://www.rajanews.com/detail.asp?id=160402

    رئیس فراکسیون اصولگرایان مجلس خاطر نشان کرد: نمایندگان مجلس امیدوارند که در دولت آقای روحانی امید به جامعه و تدبیر در رفتار دولت حکمفرما شود و با شروع کار دولت جدید فصل جدیدی در انقلاب پدید آید. اطمینان داشته باشید که در این مسیر ما با شما همراه، همدل و همکار خواهیم بود.

  60. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Principalists win 70% of the city and village council seats

    http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920327001069

  61. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Translation of Supreme Leader’s message on the presidential elections

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1802&Itemid=16

    “…The elected president is the president of all Iranians. In order to achieve the great values that the president and his colleagues in the executive branch are committed to and responsible for actualizing, everybody should help them and cooperate with them sincerely.”

  62. jay says:

    It is a banner week!!

    Once again, adding to the pile of evidence, the Guardian story today is instructive. This is where you learn what “friendly relations” means.

    While US and UK were praising the “reset” of relations with Russians, Medvedev in particular, they were spying on their communications. Friendly relations – huh!

    Turks, the NATO allies of UK were also being spied on by the UK intelligence. Friendly relations – huh!

  63. Fiorangela says:

    re “Egypt’s Morsi cuts ties with Syria,” and Hillary Leverett’s assessment that Egypt is experiencing the same pressure from Saudis, backed BY (or acting FOR) the US, to create sectarian conflict in order to weaken Iran.

    Dr. Leverett mentioned that Egypt is experiencing severe economic problems.

    Vali Nasr was interviewed by Judith Yaphne of National Defense Univ. He repeatedly stated mentioned that Arab states’ lending money to Egypt was “interfering with getting Egypt to accept IMF loans.” http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/312021-1

    It thus appears that creating sectarian conflict (divide and conquer) to weaken Iran is not the only item on the US agenda, in creating turmoil in Syria and the entire region:
    –Erdogan is salivating to make Istanbul the financial center of the region, ::http://www.ifm.gov.tr/Shared%20Documents/Strategy%20and%20Action%20Plan%20for%20IFC%20Istanbul.pdf

    —and John Kerry said that Tel Aviv could become the financial center of the region, if Israel implemented two-state solution.

    follow the money.

  64. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You can be sure the Russians gather intel on China and the US, and the UK. And that China gathers intel on Russia, the Us, the Uk. Etc.

  65. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    There was no intentional bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Accidental, yes. Unfortunate, yes.

  66. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I ADAMANTLY opposed the “missile defence” system that would have radar stations in Poland, and missiles in the Czech Republic.

    Of course the Russians would see this as unwelcome.

    And the nonsense the system was to protect Berlin from attack by North Korea or Iran.

    Once again, giant scam to sell unnecessary weapons. And to slander Iran.

  67. Khurshid says:

    Iran city and village council election results

    The most important event of this election is the outcome of village and city election results. High profile presidential election overshadowed the local election results. From the perspective of political power local election results are far more important than presidential election because which ever factions – principalists, reformists, or independents – gain upper hand in local council elections will play a decisive role in outcome of next Majlis (parliament) election.

    Now that principalists have gained majority in local elections (please see Bussed-in Basiji says: June 17, 2013 at 8:19 am), if Rohani forms a cabinet comprising of reformists only than we can safely anticipate impeachment or threat of impeachment of reformist Ministers. (Note: Actual impeachment or threat of impeachment was the weapon of choice for reformists against Ahmadinejad’s cabinet. This was revealed by a reformist MP when he talked about it with US diplomats in Iran Regional Presence Office Dubai – this is documented in wikileaks US embassy cables.)

    However, if Rohani forms a cabinet comprising of both reformists and principalists – as he said he will in his first press conference today – than he will shield his cabinet ministers from impeachment.

  68. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the key fact to take away from the catastrophe called the First World War, is simply that German generals failed to assess Germany’s strategic situation ocrrectly. Germany had the strongest army in the world, and was completely safe. ZERO need for a war.

  69. James Canning says:

    In an interview with Spiegel today, Prince Turki bin Faisal says the P5+1 blundered by not making a Middle East zone free of nukes the primary object, initially. Meaning, pressuring Israel to get rid of its nukes. I agree with him.

  70. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I think you need to study the paper, the URL to which I posted earlier, carefully.

  71. fyi says:

    Khurshid says:

    June 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    1. Mr. Rouhani is not a “Reformist”.
    2. He and Majlis will go back and forth in the selection of the members of the new cabinet.

  72. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Study what, specifically?

    Did the illegal US invasion of Iraq create a “democratic” Iraq?

    Yes, the Argentine invasion of the Falklands did result in the downfall of the ruthless dictatorship in Argentina.

  73. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I find it interesting that you seem uncomfortable confronting the fact that Germany brought on the destruction of its own army and navy, by unfounded fear of a growing “threat” from Russia.

  74. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    Let me get this straight,the us government was willing to alienate the russians just so they could sell some weapons?.If you believe that one I`ve got several national landmarks I`d like to sell you dirt cheap

  75. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm
    The dictatorship was on its last legs before the war,its mishandling of the economy had caused widespread discontent,in desperation it invaded the falklands,the irony was that the jaunta was just the sort of murderous dictatorship that under ordinary circumstances mrs thatcher and reagan loved to support

  76. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    So they just didnt happen to know exactly what they were bombing?,riiight sure they did.You really do like to give the west the most generous benefit of the doubt dont you james,the problem of course is when does the benefit of the doubt become willful blindness

  77. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    When the Peace of Vienna ended in 1914, it was because the political and economic foundations of the Congress of Vienna had eroded.

    The conditions under which the Congress of Vienna had operated no longer obtained; there was now a new and powerful state – the German Empire – that had not existed before.

    Likewise, the power of France had been diminished since the days of Napoleon, while England was set on the course of de-industrialization which culminated 3 generations later in the rise of the City and the chief income earner for UK.

    Around the periphery of Western Europe, you had the usual Balkan communalism now disguising itself in the form of Nationalism; Serbia being the more powerful one with designs on Austro-Hungarian Empire’s holdings.

    The European states – including UK – were unwilling to negotiate a new Piece of Vienna – especially England – per her 600-yar-old policy of “No Hegemon in Europe” – sought to contain the German Empire.

    In the meantime the expansion of capital and commerce made certain states potentially even more powerful in the future – Germany being the one most likely to emerge as the power that called the shots in Europe.

    The English-French-Russian Entente could have tried to maintain a containment policy of Germany had there also not been deep yearning in Russia, Germany, France and UK for war – among the newly liberated, as it were lower classes.

    The ruling classes, on the other hand, estimated that war could be quick and decisive, not unlike the Franco-German War a generation earlier.

    They – like the damned-fool ruling classes everywhere – failed to notice the lessons of the US Civil War – a prolonged war of infantry and artillery that could go on for years. In fact, the late CSA General Longstreet’s ideas of trench warfare anticipated what was to happen in Europe almost 2 generations later.

    I wrote all of this to bring you to the point of understanding the conclusion of that paper: all states were playing a game of war, Serbia initiated the game since she thought she could gain the most. And she did; she inherited all the Balkan possessions of former Austro-Hungarian Empire. She and Italy were winners, no doubt.

    But let us not forget that all European leaders – all players – were guilty as hell for what happened.

  78. Iranian@Iran says:

    I believe this article is very important and completely accurate. The so called Iran experts in the US are a useless and dishonest crowd, but it is becoming clearer by the day that the Leveretts and Prof. Marandi were correct all along.

  79. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    One of the signs of a great arif is that Allah (swt) gives him the power of miracles.

    One of the great miracles if Imam Khomeini (r) is that he created a republic in which the less religiously inclined keep voting for akhunds…election after election…and then go out in the streets and dance in joy about it…

    Subhanallah!

    Peace and greetings be upon the great soul of our beloved Imam (r).

  80. Fiorangela says:

    Fiorangela says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    re “Egypt’s Morsi cuts ties with Syria,” and Hillary Leverett’s assessment that Egypt is experiencing the same pressure from Saudis, backed BY (or acting FOR) the US, to create sectarian conflict in order to weaken Iran.

    Dr. Leverett mentioned that Egypt is experiencing severe economic problems.

    Vali Nasr was interviewed by Judith Yaphne of National Defense Univ. He repeatedly stated mentioned that Arab states’ lending money to Egypt was “interfering with getting Egypt to accept IMF loans.” http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/312021-1

    It thus appears that creating sectarian conflict (divide and conquer) to weaken Iran is not the only item on the US agenda, in creating turmoil in Syria and the entire region:
    –Erdogan is salivating to make Istanbul the financial center of the region, www dot dot ifm dot dot gov dot dot tr/Shared%20Documents/Strategy%20and%20Action%20Plan%20for%20IFC%20Istanbul dot dot pdf

    —and John Kerry said that Tel Aviv could become the financial center of the region, if Israel implemented two-state solution.

    follow the money.

  81. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Increasing numbers of rich Gulf Arabs go to Istanbul rather than Beirut. As you say, follow the money.

    Would a weaker Hezbollah make Beirut more competitive?

  82. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Germany had the strongest army on the planet, and Britain assxured Germany it was welcome to increase the size of that army if this appeared necessary. No objections from Britain.

    Serbia clearly was a threat to Austria-Hungary.

    After the war, a number of German generals said they had given too much weight to the Serbian threat posed to Austria, in their calculations.

    Bismarck did not give a fig for Germany’s colonies. German trade was increasing rapidly.

    Economic strength of the British Empire actually was increasing, in the years immediately before 1914.

  83. Khurshid says:

    fyi says:
    June 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I never said Rohani is a reformist. What I said was “…if Rohani forms a cabinet comprising of reformists only…”

  84. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    June 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Many among the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran had viewed Ikhwan al Muslemin (The Muslim Brotherhood) as the closest to them among political Muslim movements in the world.

    The positions of the crypto Ikhwan in Turkey (AKP), the Ikhwan in Egypt, and the deafening silence from the Ikhwan in Tunisia in regards to Syira indicates to me that the views of the Iranian leaders have been wrong.

    This is the seond time in 34 years that Iranian leaders have been proven wrong on their assumption regarding Muslim Solidarity, the Ummah, etc.; as far as the Arab World is concerned.

    The first time was during 1980-1988 during Iran-Iraq War and this is the second time.

    Once again, the dvision between Iran and the Sunni World has reasserted itself.

    Mr. Mursi and Mr. Erdogan are stating that they are informed by Muslim piety; what sort of piety it does not not do it suntmots to prevent discord, booldshed and war among Muslims?

    To me, what this means is that the religious-based political movements among Sunni Arabs – if not Indians, Afghnais, Indonesians, Pakistanis and others – must be assumed – from the outset – to be nascent sectarian and anti-Shi and anti-Iran movements; until proven otherwise.

    What that means is that non-religious governments must be considered to less problematic for Iran.

  85. nico says:

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=309532
    “China locks horns with US over spying”

    Not that much for its content as for the languaged that is used.

    “We believe the United States should pay attention to the international community’s concerns and demands and give the international community the necessary explanation,”

    The US called by China to explain themselves before the “international community” !
    Like the crude thug that they are !
    And calling incidentally the US to their reponsabilities before international laws and practices in the case of Syria.

    China is signaling to the US that they are reaching the limit of the acceptable and that the power at global stage is shifting with China wearing the mantle of the international community.

    But obviously Mister Canning shall explain that such US spying behaviour is normal and acceptable and do not target China.
    Of course… The UK are in the same thugish league as the US with UK hosting NSA surveillance gears and doing the same by themselves like the spying at G8 !

  86. nico says:

    And you have Snowden seeking refuge in China !
    Ironic and representative of the US degenerate state.
    With Assange prevented to leave the Ecuador embassy in London against all international norms, the UK are again in the same degenerate league.

    Mister Canning, the UK and the US are falling very low.

  87. nico says:

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=309531
    “Erdogan slams EU as ‘anti-democratic”
    “he accused some “world powers” of complicity with “internal plotters” to undermine his government.”

    Funny, even Turkey is challenging western stance.
    The US and the UK policies are truly at the end of the road…

    It seems somebody is irritated by western (Mister Canning like) exceptionalism and hypocrisy.

  88. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    China gathers intelligence on Russia, North Korea, Japan, the US, etc etc.

    The US gathers intel on China, Russia, NK, even Japan.

    Who would argue to the contrary?

  89. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    That is true. But it is only half of the picture. I believe, Sunni Islam is on its way towards total political failure. Will Ikhwan survive 35 years in Egypt as IRI has? Will AKP in Turkey? In Egypt already Ikhwan is failing after less than 2 years in power and in “democratic” Turkey, army is moving in to suppress the protesters. Though Ikhwan and takfiris have taken a position against Iran, I believe they can not harm Iran. Eventually, these groups will fail as they can not deliver on their people’s aspirations and the Sunni population becoming more disoriented by the failure of their ideological core.

    As the failure spreads, either more extremism along with backwardness will take hold, or the Sunni political Islam will die out. Both scenarios are favorable for Iran. So I think, Iran should hasten this procedure if it wants to be the unchallenged power within Islam. Sunnism is going through an identity crisis and what will come out of it, is not going to be anything like Sunnism today or of 50 years back.

  90. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The issue is that the US are gathering intelligence on their own citizens against all their fundamental self morality as embeded in their consitution.
    The issue is the sheer dimension of such spying abroad which is agressive and totally contrary to the policy of living in peace with others.
    There is a disproportion here that you do not seem to grasp.
    Not that I expected that much.

    The major difference between the position you defend and mine is that you are 100% cynical and you apply machiavellian rules to all and everything.
    Your position is devoid of any ounce of morality when it applies to your nationalistic and civilizational views.

    While I recognize the reality of the power play, I am not satisfied with it while you are limited by it.

    The flow in your position, is that all is acceptable when dictated by power.
    With such views as yours all is justifiable.

    As stated previously it is kind of view you profess that provide the need for all nations to get nukes and point it to each other.
    You can intellectualize all you want, but your views are fundamentally biased, immoral and nihilistic.

  91. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I didn’t say I approve of all the domestic “spying” the US engages in.

    I am letting the dust settle.

    There is nothing “cynical” about seeking the best possible understanding of what is going on in the world, and why it is happening.

  92. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You appear to trumpet the “morality” of your position. Did you agree with Nasser that the two world wars last century were a good thing? Tens of millions of people killed, but in Nasser’s view the wars were a good thing because he thinks they were necessary to bring about an end to the British empire.

  93. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I have said before I would like all nuclear weapons destroyed. ALL.

  94. jay says:

    This is for all to judge for themselves.

    “James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    Jay,

    You can be sure the Russians gather intel on China and the US, and the UK. And that China gathers intel on Russia, the Us, the Uk. Etc.”

    Putting this statement in the context of the thread of conversation, James takes the position that all these folks he is naming are engaged in saying one thing (reset, friendly relations, trust, etc…), while doing another (spying, fomenting violent overthrow, undermining,…).

    That is fine James.

    But remember, I am not the one suggesting that UK’s claim of “friendly relations” is genuine – I think it is a farce like the claims from the rest of these countries. I am firmly grounded in the evidence.

    It is you who keeps insisting that UK wants friendly relations! With friends who spy on you, overthrow you and undermine you… well… who needs enemies!

  95. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm
    “There is nothing “cynical” about seeking the best possible understanding of what is going on in the world, and why it is happening.”

    False.
    With such logic and position as yours, slavery would have had never ended.
    You have the exact same logic as keeping the slavery going on by defending in principle the current thugish anglo-saxon world order of interventionism, meddling, conspiracy and war crimes.
    Obviously cynical, immoral and even fascist minded.

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm
    “Did you agree with Nasser that the two world wars last century were a good thing?”
    The world wars were inevitable when cynical people minded like you were in position of power.
    Just look at today, UK Syria conspiracy, and the denial of Iran legitimate rights by western powers for cynical and world dominance reason.

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm
    “Nico,I have said before I would like all nuclear weapons destroyed. ALL.”
    Obvious lie and sophism.
    When you advocate Iran to abandon its legitimate right while the NIE clearly states that there is no military program (and that the alleged program before 2003 is more than doubtful and is a claim more likely based on Israel/UK forgery and conspiracy), you clearly are against a moral behaviour, justice and fair interpretation of international laws.
    Thus when you support a biased approach to Iran you consequently globally support the biased approach of other nucler powers to keep and upgrade their nukes.
    That is called hypocrisy and double standard.

    Fair enough ?

  96. Empty says:

    Re: what nico says (on June 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm) (addressed to James Canning)….

    If someone is sleep, you could wake him up by calling once or twice. If someone is pretending to be sleep, you couldn’t wake him up even if you played “dohol” in his ears.

  97. Empty says:

    fyi says, “Many among the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran had viewed Ikhwan al Muslemin (The Muslim Brotherhood) as the closest to them among political Muslim movements in the world.”

    As I have mentioned before, the dynmaic of Sunni Muslim societies’ movements are just beginning to unfold. This is about Sunni vs. Sunni (not Sunni vs. Shia) as time passes by, it becomes more clear (one cannot paint donkeys black and white and sell them as zebras for too long). Most of the leaders of Iran understand this and know the story has just begun and also know that they could greatly influence how the story progresses and ends. This is not a foregone conclusion.

    p.s. if you listened to Rohani’s interview responses yesterday, he said his foreign policy priority is neighboring Muslim countries (not US, Britain, France and the rest of those gangs).

  98. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    No,but it would probably make it more vulnerable to israeli aggression

  99. Nasser says:

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/iran-at-saban/posts/2013/06/15-rouhani-iran-president

    The overwhelming theme I have been noticing in western press and think tanks expressing satisfaction over Rouhani’s win is that “the Iranians are hurting real bad and are ready to cry ‘uncle'”

  100. nico says:

    Empty says:
    June 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    “Re: what nico says (on June 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm) (addressed to James Canning)….If someone is sleep, you could wake him up by calling once or twice. If someone is pretending to be sleep, you couldn’t wake him up even if you played “dohol” in his ears.”

    I well understand that, but it is my pleasure to spar with Mister Canning.
    When I lose interest I will stop.

  101. Nasser says:

    Russian view on Turkey:

    http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/redcol/Russia-Sees-Turkey-Through-Its-Own-Lens-16021

    “Russia, cynically speaking, was happy with the scale of Erdogan’s ambitions, especially when it became clear that Ankara was biting off more than it could chew. The further Turkey gets entangled in the intricacies of its new Arab policy, the less energy it will have left over for other areas where Ankara’s interests could clash with those of Moscow: the Caucasus and the Balkans.”

  102. Nasser says:

    Finally an Arab who gets it!
    http://alhayat.com/Details/524264

  103. A-B says:

    Re. Rohanis press conference yesterday

    Good questions (but ONLY) by the Iranian press. IMHO, Rohani gave a better impression now than during the debates.

    Twice, Rohani expressed Iran’s anti-Israeli stance, as naturally as spring water. (Iran will have good relation with all nations, but only with those she recognizes, which of course excludes Israel. He said sanctions only benefit Israel, and damage Iran as well as US & Europe. These statements could have been made by Ahmadinejad, Salehi, as well as the SL, and is shared by any sensible Iranian citizen.) Further, Iran’s priority is to have good relations with all the 15 neighboring countries.

    Rohani’s future cabinet will be formed based the merits of its members and not their political affiliations. “We come with the key, not with a scythe.” This was as response to the concerns of an Ahmadinejad-supporter.

    Rohani expressed his gratitude to all who supported him during his campaign, but made it clear that he is the president of all Iranians.

    He dismissed the concerns that Iran would make the same concessions she made during the tenure of Khatami; that time has passed!

    Iran is as transparent as it is possible but Iran will be as transparent as it is possible!

    Despite what Rohani actually said, the pathetic BBC and FT (cf. also Nasser’s previous post) try to twist this: gone is the “anti-Western rants” of Ahmadinejad; enter, the smiling Rohani … Tra-la-laaaa… Rohani, like the SL and Ahmadinejad, stressed that any relation [between the US and Iran] must be based on mutual respect, but West [through its media] makes it clear that the relation between West and the ‘Rest’ must be a sadomasochistic, master-servant one under the rule of carrot-and-stick; that it is simply inconceivable that Iran can EVER make an independent decision. Well, the delusional pathetic Westerners must always make themselves important!

  104. A-B says:

    Minor addition (‘We [the West] won!’) to the last paragraph:

    Despite what Rohani actually said, the pathetic BBC and FT (cf. also Nasser’s previous post) try to twist this: gone is the “anti-Western rants” of Ahmadinejad; enter, the smiling Rohani … We [the West] won! Tra-la-laaaa…

  105. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Arabs themselves were playing the same game in Lebanon during the Civil War in Lebanon – Syria and Iraq in particular.

    Next came Israel and US and France as well.

  106. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    June 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    They will have to wait for a long time – at a minimum for more than a generation (20 years).

    Iran’s relations with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Azarbaijan cannot be imporved – you need regime change in those states.

    Relations with Turkey can go either way, like Pakistan.

    Relations with Armenia and Georgia can be further expanded – as well as with Tadjikistan and Turkmenistan.

    Iranian leaders are well advised to put most of their efforts into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  107. M.Ali says:

    Another surprise. Iran just beat South Korea in the latter’s home country, qualifying Iran to the World Cup.

    This after the South Koreans bad mouthed Iranians,

    “After Korean boss Choi Kang-Hee’s promise to “make life painful” for Iran drew a strong response from their coach Carlos Queiroz and captain Javad Nekounam, the home players launched a fresh salvo.

    “I will make him (Nekounam) shed tears of blood,” said Germany-based forward Son Heung-Min.

    Son added: “Nekounam is known for talking too much. I will let my action on the pitch do the talking. We will beat them by three to four goals.””

    Once again, when will the world learn that once you insult Iranians, they will beat you?

  108. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “Iranian leaders are well advised to put most of their efforts into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

    Does this no tantamount to the same scenario out lines in your post earlier?

    “On World War I
    http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/baliga/htm/hobbesiantrap.pdf””

  109. Rd. says:

    Nasser says:

    “The overwhelming theme I have been noticing in western press and think tanks expressing satisfaction over Rouhani’s win is that “the Iranians are hurting real bad and are ready to cry ‘uncle’”

    First they have to justify their WRONG predictions and refute their previously flawed propaganda.
    Next we’ll hear how the president has no power, the SL has the final authority, etc. ,etc.. As Cyrus/others have said over and over, this is not about the nuclear issue.. However, we have 4 more year where every one (both in Iran and else where) has a chance to see the degenerate values promoted by the US/UK, even EU..

  110. Iranian@Iran says:

    Iran goes to the World Cup! Congratulations!

  111. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    June 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    One must put one’s efforts into areas that one could make progress – specially rapid progress with concomitant gains.

    North African states (Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sudan) are not worth extra effort by Iran.

    Nor are the Persian Gulf Arab states excepting Oman.

    Relations with Axis Powers cannot be improved at the present time or for the forseeable future: they are bent on destroying Ba’ath state in Syria and crushing Iran.

    Relations with India cannot be improved either; the strategic understanding with India is no longer feasible for Iran.

    There is scope for course correction with Turkey as Mr. Erdogan relaizes that being a “nowkar” to Axis Powers does not mean anything.

    You will see more of the continuity with Dr. Ahmadinejad’s government.

    Situation will not change until and unless Axis Powers reconsider their current policies.

    They will not do so until they are crushed in Syria – at a minimum.

  112. fyi says:

    All:

    Not everyone in US is a jingoistic fool (but they are powerless)

    http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2013/06/17/a-reluctant-warrior-tiptoes-to-war/

  113. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Different degrees of effort could be made to make progress in all of those relationships. It need not be this country at the expense of another. For example, Rohani (if he is wise) could appoint Ahmadinejad as a regional ambassador to South America, Rafsanjani for Saudi Arabia and other PGC’s, Khatami for Europe, and so on… (too bad most of these politicians tend to lack vision and have a propensity to be egoists).

  114. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    June 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    There is no deal to be had by meeting with Saudis, Qataris, Americans, or Europeans.

    Until and unless Iran defeats their regional strategies.

    Arabs of the Southern Persian Gulf, for the second time in 30 years, have established that they are enemies of Iran.

    Axis Powers are not at war with Iran themselves since they are not yet ready.

    You can send all of best Iranian diplomats to these states – the only thing you will get is frustration.

    Iranians and their allies must do their utmost to realize the so-called Shia Crescent now that Sunni Arabs (Ilkwan and their ilk) have been shorn of their Arab Nationalism garb and the ugly face of their sectarianism is revealed to any and all.

    Iranians must further endevor to publicly and privately sketch out a peaceful future for everyone in the Middle East.

    As you can read, Americans, Europeans, and Arabs have nothing to offer but Bllodshed, Death, Destruction and with no end in sight.

    The man who can credibly promise peace will previal.

  115. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Most European diplomats think Israel needs to end the occupation of the West Bank. Do you think Iran should support this programme? (Israel out of WB)

  116. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama continues to be reluctant to have US intervene militarily in Syrian civil war.

  117. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain is not interested in “crushing” Iran. Nor is Germany. Or China. Or Russia.

  118. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I have said that Iran blocked (or helped Israel to block) William Hague’s programme to improve relations between UK and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas.

    Iran’s trebling of production of 20 percent uranium helped convince Britain that war was more likely to come to the Persian Gulf. And Saudis, Qataris, and others saw things the same way.

  119. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I think it is advisable for US and Iran to conclude strategic dialogue at the highest state levels.

    As part of that strategic dialogue for the future of the area between Hindukush and the Mediterranean sea, US should include West Bank.

    I would not expect US to give West Bank away, but it must be included in that strategic discussion.

    Once Iran and US have agreed on the parameters of the settlement, other parties such as EU, Russia, China, Pakistan, and even pathetique Arabs could be brought in to endorse and enhance those understanding.

    We are, of course, decades away from that dialogue and it will not happen during the presidency of Mr. Obama.

  120. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Why do you think rich Gulf Arabs are increasingly going to Istanbul for things they used to do in Beirut?

    I agree Hezbollah helps to deter Israeli aggression in Lebanon.

    The question was whether an overly strong Hezbollah has hurt Beirut, as financial center etc for Gulf Arabs.

  121. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    To be clear, you do think the US should pressure Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank?

  122. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Britain could relase 1.1 pound sterling impounded by her tomorrow; but that will not happen; she has to continue with her wars of choice in Syria and Iran (the economic one).

    I will give Mr. Hague this: like Mr. Obama, he wished to improve relations with Iran without entering into strategic dialogue.

    That was not possible (if it ever was) by the time he got to the scene.

    Iranians are playing for keeps in the Levant and elsewhere, this is not amusement for them – their back is against the wall and they have no choice but to fight and fight to the end (whatever that may be).

    China and Russia are doing quite well, they have got Muslims and Axis Powers fighting one another and among themselves in a very wide front.

    If Western Asia goes up in flames, so to speak, Chinese and Russians can well live with its consequences.

  123. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Are you referring to slavery in the US? I think Abraham Lincoln was quite right to think the Federal Government should have issued bonds to buy out the slaveowners’ interests, in order to free the slaves without civil war. Fanatical abolitionists in the North helped prevent Lincoln from proceding.

    I do not think civil war in US was necessary, to end slavery in the US.

  124. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    US will never ever pressure Israel; the Love Affair with Israel (Ancient & Modern) is too entrenched for that.

    I mean, let’s face it, the late Bin Ladin attacked US over Israel – and US accepts that as a matter of course.

    You might have been able to get a Cease Fire and Fence sometime in 2003 – but the time for that is also past; just like the 2-state solution.

    The future holds a permanent state of war between Israel and the World of Islam with no end in sight.

  125. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Istanbul has a more varied selection of whores, that is all.

  126. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think William Hague was very interested in “strategic dialogue” with Iran. And Syria. And Hezbollah. And Hamas. Iran helped Israel to block Hague’s plans.

  127. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Simplistic thinking, on attractions of Istanbul for rich Gulf Arabs. On your part. Obviously, one factor is the expectation a palace on the shore will not get blown up in civil war.

  128. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China needs oil from the Perisan Gulf, and China will want to help make sure Iran does not block the shipping lanes.

  129. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I deplore more spending on nukes, by the US or other countries.

  130. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I opposed the idiotic American invasion of Iraq. I opposed foolish policies of G W Bush and Obama in Afghanistan. I opposed Western military intervention in Libya. I oppose Western military intervention in Syria.

    And you claim I support Western military intervention in greater Middle East!

  131. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    You are either a sovereign state or not.

    You are either a leader or not.

    You are either your own man or not.

    Mr. Hague can fly to Tehran today and begin the process of strategic dialogue.

    But that would mean that she has to break with the his patron.

    He won’t.

    UK made her decision to be a vassal in 1949 – that limits what she can and cannot do in the international arena.

    China has a diversified oil import policy, I expect her to manage well without oil from the Persian Gulf.

    Axis Powers’ policies in Syria and in the broader Middle East are threats to their own vassals and satraps; that is the delicious part of it.

  132. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Yes precisely.

    The West desires nothing more than for people like these to lead the brown folks and Muslims so their polities remain eternally dysfunctional.

  133. James Canning says:

    “Why the UK is highly unlikely to arm Syrian rebels”, by James Blitz and Elizabeth Rigby (June 18th, in Financial Times online).

    David Cameron faces considerable scepticism within his own party.

  134. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Delusions about “sovereignty” can lead to miscalculations.

    China has warned Iran not to try to close shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf.

    You think Germany’s idiotic sqandering of fantastic sums on useless battleships, in years prior to First World War, were sensible exercise of “sovereignty”?

  135. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britan REFUSED to back ill-considered American ground war in Southeast Asia. Time and time again. Yet UK was a “vassal” of the US?

  136. Nasser says:

    R.d. says:

    “However, we have 4 more year where every one (both in Iran and else where) has a chance to see the degenerate values promoted by the US/UK, even EU..”

    – Yes I agree with you.

    Unfortunately many Iranians still foolishly believe the West would accommodate Iran’s vital interests if only Iran struck a nicer tune. They forget that Khatami’s conciliatory approach and suspension of enrichment brought Iran nothing but further pressure.

    It too took me a long realize fully that the US is thoroughly implacable. The people in the US are such that once they decide on an enemy nothing but its complete destruction and humiliation satisfies them.

    Hopefully these remaining Iranians could be disillusioned of US intentions after four years of Rouhani.

  137. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you not aware that Persians are Aryans?

  138. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Do you still maintain that all the suffering of Persian during the First World War, and of Iran during the Second World War, was worth it. Because Britain’s empire was damaged?

  139. Nasser says:

    James Canning says: June 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    It is understandable that you have a very Eurocentric world view.

    But there are other human beings (Homo sapiens sapiens) in the world besides white European Christians. It is their planet too!

    I am glad that the Brits started the two World Wars that led to the diminishment of their own and other Europeans’ power over the rest of the world.

    And yes I understand Britain and not Germany to be most at fault for the start of both World Wars.

  140. Nasser says:

    Lovely!
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9203183968

    Hopefully Iran finds ways to get some of these to Hezbollah

  141. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    German generals after the First World War admitted that they schemed to bring about war due to miscalculations.

    When the German generals admit they started the war, it is curious you claim they did not.

    Once again, Britsh empire would have come to an end WITHOUT any world war.

  142. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Is China reflecting a “Eurocentric world view”, when it tells Iran to stop enriching urnaium to 20 percent, and not to block shipping lanes in the PG?

  143. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you arguing that Britain should have told Poland to accept German demands regarding the Free City of Danzig and the Polish corridor?

  144. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    “Nico,Are you referring to slavery in the US? I think Abraham Lincoln was quite right to think the Federal Government should have issued bonds to buy out the slaveowners’ interests, in order to free the slaves without civil war. Fanatical abolitionists in the North helped prevent Lincoln from proceding.I do not think civil war in US was necessary, to end slavery in the US.”

    I am referring to all progressive movement that were against the power statu quo.
    The case of slavery in US was an illustration and a parabole
    But interesting comment of yours.
    “You know how goes the saying :” the idiot is looking at the finger of the wise man while it is pointed at the moon”
    While in the same time you find justification to all UK and other colonialists worst crimes in the past centuries…

    James Canning says:
    June 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    “Nico,I opposed the idiotic American invasion of Iraq. I opposed foolish policies of G W Bush and Obama in Afghanistan. I opposed Western military intervention in Libya. I oppose Western military intervention in Syria.And you claim I support Western military intervention in greater Middle East!”

    Well all those policies are policies of fascist states and war criminals.
    Do you recognize Obama, Cameron, Hague, Fabius as supremacists and war criminals ? I do.
    My take is that you do not. That would demand guts and moral convictions.
    Please prove me wrong.

    James Canning says:
    June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    “Nico,I deplore more spending on nukes, by the US or other countries.”
    You should not deplore it, but condamn it.
    The issue is that the US after the cold war was left as the sole world power.
    In such situation the US should have led by the example.
    But they chose to lead by tyranny.

    Today after 30 years you have an exhausted and degenerate US with a massive global spying program over the world private communications.
    You have the US an UK sponsor of terrorism in Israel, Syria, Chechnya etc
    You have the US having waged criminal and illegal wars.
    You have the US having imposed genocidal embargo in Irak and salivating to do the same in the case of Iran.
    You have the US sponsor in chief with UK advice to proliferate nukes as much as they want while denying others their basic rights.

    Now Mister Canning is deploring it. That much… I am positvely impressed NOT.
    While in the same time you find all kind of excuses and benefice of doubt to the US and UK.

  145. Nasser says:

    James Canning says: June 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    – I have lost my sympathy for Poland after its complicity in sanctioning Iran – a country that did what little it could to help them in their greatest time of need.

    – And to answer your question, yes absolutely.

    – One, because the German claims were justified because most people in Danzig were ethnic Germans. And two, Britain or France had no means of helping Poland anyway and so they shouldn’t have given out false hopes and war guarantees that merely encouraged Polish recalcitrance. Indeed, Poland was abandoned when attacked. It would have so much better for the Poles had they just cut a deal with Hitler and stood by side against Stalin.

    – Btw, this has parallels to how the US encourages others like Georgians to take up hostile positions against the Russians, or the South East Asians against the Chinese, or the Sunni Arabs against the Iranians and Shias. Promises by the US to these people will not be honored and these idiots too high on their greed and anger and too confident of their war guarantees and promises will get themselves and a lot of others killed.

    – Also as I recommended earlier you should Read Patrick Buchanan’s book on this matter.

  146. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    “Nasser,Is China reflecting a “Eurocentric world view”, when it tells Iran to stop enriching urnaium to 20 percent, and not to block shipping lanes in the PG?”

    Disgusting and biased comment based on exceptionalism and supremacist views.

    By imposing unilateral secondary sanctions, the US are the one responsible for any consequences of their foolish, criminal and immoral actions.
    Who care what anybody think about 20% enrichment.

    The US want to lead the world not by example but by tyranny.
    Well you know what happen to tyrant king and the end of the story…

  147. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You appear to say it is of no consequence for Iran, that Russia and China insist Iran stop enriching to 20%. You are simply mistaken.

  148. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You are not alone in thinking Poland would have done better to give Germany the Polish corridor, and allow Germany to annex Danzig.

    Would Hitler then have demanded even more? Hard to determine.

    Obviously, the scorn much of the Nazi leadership had for the Poles, presented a serious problem.

  149. farokh says:

    The only Iran expert who predicted Rouhani’s win was Kaveh Afrasiabi

    http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=59421