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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hassan Rohani: The friendly face of terror?

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Iran's President Rouhani in his own Words

This is a selection of Quotes of Hassan Rohanis on his thinking about politics, the relation of the Islamic Republic to the West, his thoughts about human rights, about the character of the Islamic revolution and about the nuclear programme. Quotes (if not labelled differently) from: „Reading Rouhani“ von Steve Ditto (Policy Focus 129, Washington Institute for Near East Policy). 

Rouhani on Taqiyya, 2012:
"Taqiyya 
is the shield of the believer … it is moving and fighting behind a protective mask, and means minimizing your loss, and imposing the highest cost on the enemy.“

Rouhani on diplomacy, 2009:
"Diplomacy is the art of understanding a region…estimating its strength and position, and finding opportunities critical to exploit."

Rouhani on the nuclear talks with the EU in Tehran, 2003:
"While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan, and much work remained to complete the project. In fact, by creating a relaxed atmosphere we were able to complete the work in Isfahan. All praises be to God (alhamdulillah), today Isfahan is completed, and we can convert yellowcake into UF4 and UF6 [uranium hexafluoride], and this is a very important matter."

Rouhani on his tactics in the nuclear talks in his memoirs, 2011:
"To those who have questions in their minds about the reasons for accepting the temporary, voluntary suspension of some of the nuclear activities in this period…the accomplishments included the completion of the Isfahan uranium conversion facility; the assembly and construction of centrifuges; the Arak heavy-water reactor; continued activity for building a 40-megawatt reactor; the completion of the Natanz underground facility; the production of yellowcake; and the building of the P2 centrifuge."

Rouhani on nuclear weapons in WWII, 2001:
"In today’s world, one of the key elements of power—whether political, economic, military, or cultural power—is the possession of technology, especially advanced technology. The thing that accelerated the end of World War II was nuclear fission—not conventional military power, and not the politicians. So, today power lies in manufacturing technology."

Rouhani on radio Free Europe on nuclear energy, 2003:
"Nuclear power will reinforce the authority of Iran’s system."

Rouhani on the export of the Islamic revolution with force, 1980:
"The principle on which I end my talk is the question of exporting the Revolution beyond our borders. If the Revolution remains within the country it will be destroyed.… We must export our revolution to Iraq, to Kuwait, to Afghanistan and to all Muslim countries and to all the oppressed countries. ... If necessary we should do so by means of arms. What is wrong if we give weapons to our dear brothers fighting in Iraq? It is our religious duty to assist them 
It is not important how the Westernized people judge us. What is wrong if we go to our brothers in Iraq, if we go side by side with our brothers in Saudi Arabia, in Afghanistan?… Why shouldn’t we go to our Palestinian brothers? Who can stop us? What will happen if, for instance, we go and attack Israel from Lebanon? Would it not be the case that we will be the cause of pride for history and for Islam? Jihad recognizes no boundaries…in the same way that Satan and Satanical people recognize no boundaries.… We must export the Revolution."

Rouhani on Imam Khomeni, his successor Ali Khamenei, and his idea of the Islamic revolution, 1995.
"... Is it possible for the Imam to die? The Imam has an eternal life, and this life casts its light over a bigger area with each passing day. The eminent leader of the Revolution, his eminence Ayatullah Khamenei, may his shadow extend, is the leader of the world of Islam today. This has nothing to do with whether we say so or not. His message, his words, his cries, his line, his path is the guiding direction for Islamic movements."

Rouhani on the release of hostages of the US embassy after 444 days, 1981:
"A momentous event took place and the U.S. idol was smashed. A number of people opposed this and another lot said: The hostages should be set free without any question. I must say that we did not take the hostages in order to obtain money, but rather to neutralize the U.S. plot. They wished to hatch plots abroad in favor of the Shah, but we neutralized that. We resisted so much through the hostage-taking issue that the United States finally bowed before us."
 

Rouhani on possible Iranian attacks against US interests, 1987:
"We would like to give our Moslem brothers the good news that if we are exposed to an attack, we will repay it two times over and will rub America’s nose in the sea, on top of destroying its economic 
interests all over the world. To carry out such operations is not difficult for us."

Rouhani on the death fatwa against Salman Rushdie and his idea of human rights, 2009:
"About Salman Rushdie, it’s not a matter of the civil rights of a Western citizen...it’s not even about a single individual...it is a cultural war. ... Even if Salman Rushdie is killed, the fight won’t be over, but will only start from a different 
point. So it’s not about whether we have freedom of political parties or women’s rights as they define  it. The war is a war of two cultures .…They believe this sentence is unacceptable. Our response is that the fatwa is a religious decree and does not pertain specifically to Imam Khomeini. All Islamic experts, clerics, and scholars, both Shia and Sunni, are of the same opinion concerning an apostate who insults the Prophet. We as a government have not issued an order to assassinate this person, so it cannot be said that we have broken international laws, but we say this is the duty of Muslims. And this duty is determined by God, and this is not only Iran’s view but all Muslim scholars have also asserted this fatwa."

Rouhani on the smashing of students protests and his thoughts about a Western conspiracy, 1999:
"... the enemy launched an onslaught on the foundation stone of the Revolution’s patriarchal structure. It broke the grace and sanctity of our Revolutionary values. It attacked the foundation of the System and particularly the most essential pillar of the Revolution, that is, the sacred sanctity of velayat-e faqih. The enemy wanted to pave the way for its future conspiracies.… Offending the status of velayat-e faqih is tantamount to offending the entire nation, is tantamount to offending Iran, is tantamount to offending all Muslims, and is tantamount to offending all freedom-seekers whose hearts beat in support of Iran as the motherland of the Islamic world. The onslaught on our sanctities is, therefore, an intolerable matter to our people and to the supporters of our Revolution all over the world."

Rouhani on the closing of Iranian newspapers, 2002:
"People are completely free to express their thoughts. Of course, there are laws and rules in every country. There is a court, and if anyone disobeys the law, then it is the law that deals with that person. What is important is that the courts act within the framework of the law. It is possible that some newspapers or magazine publishers go against the law, and it would be dealt with, but that does not mean that there is no freedom or democracy in this country. If we don’t abide by the law, it would be a shambles. We have to distinguish between freedom and shambles.… Read these newspapers and see with what freedom they express their opinions. Officials are being criticized; government is being criticized.…"

Rouhani defends terror attacks against Israeli children in an interview with ABD, 2002
Question: Dr. Rohani, you said that the Palestinians can use any action to fight Israeli occupation, yes?
Rohani: We believe that the Palestinians, to regain their country and their freedom and to kick out their occupier, have the right to fight with Israel.
Question: Any right?
Rohani: Palestinians have to try, if it is possible, not to hurt non-combatants.
Question: But let me ask you directly, when someone walks into a restaurant, to a Passover Seder, and slaughters innocent families, is that a freedom fighter?
Rohani: What should they do? What is the Palestinians’ alternative? The Palestinians, whose children are being killed?
Question: So they should kill Israeli children?
Rohani: What is their alternative? You tell me what should these people do? If these people are blowing themselves to pieces before anything else, this means there remains no alternative.

Rouhani commends Hezbollah's war against Israel and announces further conquests, 2006:
"It was a great victory of Hezbollah. It was a glorious victory of the Islamic umma. God willing, it is the beginning of the next Muslim conquests (aghazi), and the subsequent failures of America and Israel."

Rouhani on economic growth, international relations and regime stability, 2006:
"In today’s world one cannot say that a country does not in any way need help from the outside. It is not possible to abandon interaction with the outside world and say that we would not negotiate with foreigners under any circumstances.… Being skilled is all about being able to stand on one’s feet at the lowest cost.… We could easily sever relations with everyone. But that would impose very high costs on us.… We want an Iran that continues to grow and prosper; a country that is able to compete with others. If we fail to achieve growth and development as we advance then our authority will be called into question. No country achieves power and strength without growth and development."

Rouhani dismisses Madleine Albright's offer of a reconciliation, 2000:
"On the whole, she has repeated the same old belligerent policies.… In general, I do not assess this speech as positive, and deem it as yet another interference by America in the internal affairs of Iran."

Rouhani on the enclosure of the enemy United States, 2013:
"... we should be aware that we can have interactions even with the enemy in such a manner that the grade of its enmity would be decreased, secondly, its enmity would not be effective."

Rouhani on an Islamic revolution in Saudi Arabia, 1996:
"The most natural thing would be for there to be a revolution in Saudi Arabia because, as we saw in 1979 with the patience of the Iranian people, that of the Saudi people also has its limits. It is merely evolution."

Rouhanis son committed suicide in London in 1992. In a farewell letter to his father he wrote:
"I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double acts and your hypocrisy. I am ashamed to live in such environment where I'm forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn't part of all of this. Telling them my father loves this nation, whereas I believe this to be not true. It makes me sick seeing you, my father, kiss the hand of Khamenei,“ (YNET, 18.6.2013)

 

 

Hassan Rouhani: Selected articles

Natan Sharansky: Is Rouhani the New Gorbachev? (Wall Street Journal,17.11.2013)

Mark Dubowitz (Foundation for Defense of Democracies): Hassan Rouhani's 100 Days (November 2013)

Steven Ditto (The Washington Institute): Rouhani's Negotiating Strategy: Divide and Isolate (9.10.2013)

A conversation between Stephan Grigat (STOP THE BOMB) and Mojtaba Shamsrizi (The World Security Network Foundation’s expert on Iran): "Rouhani is the friendly face of terror" (23.8.2013)

 

 

Rohani talks about peace and wages war in Syria

STOP THE BOMB coalition warns against concessions to the Iranian Regime

Press Release, September 26, 2013

After the speech of the new Iranian President to the General Assembly of the United Nations German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his relief:  It is important that Rohani did not use "sharp, unforgiving rhetoric". The policy of the Islamic Republic however, did not change but in rhetoric.

In his speech, Rohani has just announced to be ready for talks. With this announcement he stands in the tradition of his predecessors. So far, the regime has used negotiations only to gain time.

As Iranian chief negotiator Rohani (2003-2005) stood for the acceleration of the nuclear program and the deception of the West at the same time. He boasted how he advanced the construction of centrifuges while he negotiated with the Europeans. [1] In the 2013 election campaign Rohani highlighted  this ploy as an argument to elect him - an announcement to use this deception tactics also in the future.

STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Michael Spaney comments: "The Iranian president  Rohani  has deceived the West in the past about the nature of Iran's nuclear program. His approach is smarter than Ahmadinejad’s. However, the aim of an atomic bomb is the same. It is therefore extremely important that the German Government and its partners remain firm in exerting pressure on the Iranian regime before Iran can reach the nuclear break-out. The sanctions are effective. Without pressure, the regime does not move one inch. "

It remains to be seen whether Rohani in the P5 +1 negotiations will submit proposals like shutting down the nuclear site Fordo as was reported by the German weekly "Der Spiegel". Should suggestions like this be made, it must be tested if they can stop the Iranian regime from building nuclear weapons, which experts doubt in the case of Fordo.

The Iranian regime is the most dangerous power in the Middle East. In a training camp in Tehran fighters from across the Arab world are preparing to fight in Syria. The  Iranian Revolutionary Guards have taken over the command of the fighting in Syria. The financing of terrorist  Hamas in Gaza has restarted after differences, the German daily "Die Welt" even reports on a terror alliance of Al-Qaeda leadership with Iran. The difference between Ahmadinejad's  Holocaust denial is only in tone, not in substance. [2]

The litmus test of change for the regime ist to stop the terror against its own population. But  beyond the tactical release of some political prisoners that is not the case. In September alone, more than 50 Iranians were executed, six people on the very day of Rohanis UN speech. "While Rohani eloquently laments an imaginary Irano- and Islamophobia, he showed no willingness for reconciliation towards its own society," says Michael Spaney. "But how can one trust the peace gestures of a president who leads the war against his own people?"

[1] “While we were talking with  the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan. . . . in fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in  Isfahan. Today, we can convert yellowcake into UF4 and UF6, and this is a very important matter.” Vgl. http://www.brandeis.edu/crown/publications/meb/MEB5.pdf

[2] See Matthias Küntzel, "Moderate" Holocaust Denial in Iran?

 

STOP THE BOMB: Hassan Rowhani is neither a reformer nor moderate

Berlin, June 19, 2013

Iran's new president Hassan Rowhani is celebrated as a beacon of hope for democratic reform in Iran and as a future dialogue partner of the West. However, he is neither a reformer nor moderate: In 1999 Rowhani demanded the execution of students protesting against the Iranian regime. [1]

Hopes are pinned to Rowhani also because of his role in the nuclear conflict: The Iranian negotiator allegedly had made significant concessions to the European Union in 2003. [2]

However, Rowhani’s aim was the neutralization of international pressure shortly after the illegal nuclear program had been unveiled. After he promised that Iran would suspend the enrichment of uranium the EU 3 (Germany, UK and France) prevented that Iran's nuclear program was discussed at the UN Security Council. Rowhani later boasted of having deceived his negotiating partners and that Iran secretly advanced its nuclear weapons capability. [3]

Rowhani’s promise to follow a “path of moderation” must be understood in the context of Khamenei’s announcement that foreign policy will not change. [4] If the new president announces that there should be no foreign interference in Syria, he only means the opponents of Bashar al-Assad. The Iranian regime has intensified its own intervention in Syria and reportedly just a few days ago decided to send 4,000 Revolutionary Guards to Syria. [5] Just like Khamenei the new president supports the Assad regime because for him it is the "front line of the fight against Zionism" that should "not be weakened." [6]

"Should Hassan Rowhani manage to win more time in the nuclear negotiations, the Iranian regime will soon have nuclear weapons. Rather than initiating a new round of dialogue with someone who represents the strategy of deception in the nuclear conflict, the Federal Government should follow the example of Canada", said Michael Spaney, spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB.

The Canadian government has cut off economic and diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime while supporting the Iranian opposition against the Islamic dictatorship.
[7] 

 

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3240618.stm

[2] This is stressed in a press release of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Fraction of June 17, 2013, http://www.cducsu.de/Titel__ausgang_der_iranischen_praesidentschaftswahl_kann_ein_zeichen_fuer_hoffnung_und_dialog_sein/TabID__6/SubTabID__7/InhaltTypID__1/InhaltID__26018/Inhalte.aspx 

[3] "While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan, but we still had a long way to go to complete the project," he said. "In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on Isfahan." http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/international/middleeast/14iran.html?_r=0. Compare the analysis „Hassan Rowhani and his good relations to Berlin“ (in German) of Matthias Küntzel, www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/hassan-rohani-ein-mann-mit-guten-beziehungen-nach-berlin.

[4] http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/06/04/No-concessions-to-west-Iran-s-Khamenei-tells-candidates.html

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-to-send-4000-troops-to-aid-president-assad-forces-in-syria-8660358.html

[6] Compare Press TV, http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/220357.html

[7] http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/29/canada-ends-all-trade-with-iran-citing-grave-and-sincere-concern-over-nuclear-program/

 

 

Rohani talks about peace and wages war in Syria

STOP THE BOMB coalition warns against concessions to the Iranian Regime

Press Release, September 26, 2013

After the speech of the new Iranian President to the General Assembly of the United Nations German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his relief:  It is important that Rohani did not use "sharp, unforgiving rhetoric". The policy of the Islamic Republic however, did not change but in rhetoric.

In his speech, Rohani has just announced to be ready for talks. With this announcement he stands in the tradition of his predecessors. So far, the regime has used negotiations only to gain time.

As Iranian chief negotiator Rohani (2003-2005) stood for the acceleration of the nuclear program and the deception of the West at the same time. He boasted how he advanced the construction of centrifuges while he negotiated with the Europeans. [1] In the 2013 election campaign Rohani highlighted  this ploy as an argument to elect him - an announcement to use this deception tactics also in the future.

STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Michael Spaney comments: "The Iranian president  Rohani  has deceived the West in the past about the nature of Iran's nuclear program. His approach is smarter than Ahmadinejad’s. However, the aim of an atomic bomb is the same. It is therefore extremely important that the German Government and its partners remain firm in exerting pressure on the Iranian regime before Iran can reach the nuclear break-out. The sanctions are effective. Without pressure, the regime does not move one inch. "

It remains to be seen whether Rohani in the P5 +1 negotiations will submit proposals like shutting down the nuclear site Fordo as was reported by the German weekly "Der Spiegel". Should suggestions like this be made, it must be tested if they can stop the Iranian regime from building nuclear weapons, which experts doubt in the case of Fordo.

The Iranian regime is the most dangerous power in the Middle East. In a training camp in Tehran fighters from across the Arab world are preparing to fight in Syria. The  Iranian Revolutionary Guards have taken over the command of the fighting in Syria. The financing of terrorist  Hamas in Gaza has restarted after differences, the German daily "Die Welt" even reports on a terror alliance of Al-Qaeda leadership with Iran. The difference between Ahmadinejad's  Holocaust denial is only in tone, not in substance. [2]

The litmus test of change for the regime ist to stop the terror against its own population. But  beyond the tactical release of some political prisoners that is not the case. In September alone, more than 50 Iranians were executed, six people on the very day of Rohanis UN speech. "While Rohani eloquently laments an imaginary Irano- and Islamophobia, he showed no willingness for reconciliation towards its own society," says Michael Spaney. "But how can one trust the peace gestures of a president who leads the war against his own people?"

[1] “While we were talking with  the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan. . . . in fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in  Isfahan. Today, we can convert yellowcake into UF4 and UF6, and this is a very important matter.” Vgl. http://www.brandeis.edu/crown/publications/meb/MEB5.pdf

[2] See Matthias Küntzel, "Moderate" Holocaust Denial in Iran?

 

STOP THE BOMB: Hassan Rowhani is neither a reformer nor moderate

Berlin, June 19, 2013

Iran's new president Hassan Rowhani is celebrated as a beacon of hope for democratic reform in Iran and as a future dialogue partner of the West. However, he is neither a reformer nor moderate: In 1999 Rowhani demanded the execution of students protesting against the Iranian regime. [1]

Hopes are pinned to Rowhani also because of his role in the nuclear conflict: The Iranian negotiator allegedly had made significant concessions to the European Union in 2003. [2]

However, Rowhani’s aim was the neutralization of international pressure shortly after the illegal nuclear program had been unveiled. After he promised that Iran would suspend the enrichment of uranium the EU 3 (Germany, UK and France) prevented that Iran's nuclear program was discussed at the UN Security Council. Rowhani later boasted of having deceived his negotiating partners and that Iran secretly advanced its nuclear weapons capability. [3]

Rowhani’s promise to follow a “path of moderation” must be understood in the context of Khamenei’s announcement that foreign policy will not change. [4] If the new president announces that there should be no foreign interference in Syria, he only means the opponents of Bashar al-Assad. The Iranian regime has intensified its own intervention in Syria and reportedly just a few days ago decided to send 4,000 Revolutionary Guards to Syria. [5] Just like Khamenei the new president supports the Assad regime because for him it is the "front line of the fight against Zionism" that should "not be weakened." [6]

"Should Hassan Rowhani manage to win more time in the nuclear negotiations, the Iranian regime will soon have nuclear weapons. Rather than initiating a new round of dialogue with someone who represents the strategy of deception in the nuclear conflict, the Federal Government should follow the example of Canada", said Michael Spaney, spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB.

The Canadian government has cut off economic and diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime while supporting the Iranian opposition against the Islamic dictatorship.
[7] 

 

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3240618.stm

[2] This is stressed in a press release of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Fraction of June 17, 2013, http://www.cducsu.de/Titel__ausgang_der_iranischen_praesidentschaftswahl_kann_ein_zeichen_fuer_hoffnung_und_dialog_sein/TabID__6/SubTabID__7/InhaltTypID__1/InhaltID__26018/Inhalte.aspx 

[3] "While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan, but we still had a long way to go to complete the project," he said. "In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on Isfahan." http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/international/middleeast/14iran.html?_r=0. Compare the analysis „Hassan Rowhani and his good relations to Berlin“ (in German) of Matthias Küntzel, www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/hassan-rohani-ein-mann-mit-guten-beziehungen-nach-berlin.

[4] http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/06/04/No-concessions-to-west-Iran-s-Khamenei-tells-candidates.html

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-to-send-4000-troops-to-aid-president-assad-forces-in-syria-8660358.html

[6] Compare Press TV, http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/220357.html

[7] http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/29/canada-ends-all-trade-with-iran-citing-grave-and-sincere-concern-over-nuclear-program/