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Friday, September 20, 2013

Rouhani, Obama’s ‘Moderate’ Iranian Lifeline -- By Anne Bayefsky, National Review


As President Obama would have it, Hassan Rouhani, the new president of Iran, is a moderate. The president is leading Americans to believe that, to borrow Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s description of butcher Saddam Hussein, here is a man “with whom we can do business.”

Rouhani told NBC’s Ann Curry on September 18 that President Obama had written to congratulate him on his election victory. Rouhani was “elected” in June — in one of those “elections” where 686 candidates tried to register, eight were allowed to run, and every woman was disqualified.

The Iranian president will be coming to New York shortly. He will deliver his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 24, 2013. Two days later he will give a major address at the General Assembly’s “high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament.” That’s where all the nuclear proliferators will get together to declare that they know nothing about nuclear weapons and wouldn’t dream of pursuing them.

Rouhani presaged just such a speech when he spoke to NBC. He told Curry with a straight face: “Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.”

His predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had a good run of it in New York during his eight-year stint as president. Year after year he was handed a global megaphone by the U.N. to say that there was no Holocaust, 9/11 was an inside job, and a Jewish state must be disappeared. The Canadians and Israelis would stay away. The Americans would eventually decide to walk out. The Europeans would think hard about how much antisemitism they should tolerate publicly, and some would leave. The General Assembly president would give him a big hug, and the majority of U.N. members, who remained in their seats, would give him a round of applause.

While in town, Columbia University would find it valuable for their students to listen carefully to a man who told them there were no homosexuals in Iran.

Nevertheless, the person who really runs Iran — Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — has decided a new tone is in order. President Obama is clearly desperate for any lifeline. Why not toss him a “moderate” Iranian that the American president can use to avoid doing anything serious about preventing an Iranian nuke.

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