Iran: Hassan Rouhani is neither moderate nor reformist
The media are virtually unanimous in hailing the 'free and fair' election of the 'moderate' and 'reformist' cleric Hassan Rouhani as Iran's new President. This gives hope, they believe, of positive engagement on human rights and a halt to Iran's nuclear programme.
In fact, there will be no change. The media seem to forget that Iran has a Supreme Ruler - Ayatollah Khamenei - who rules over and above any democratically-elected president, and he is no benign Anglican force. He will find having a fellow Shia cleric as President more than a little convenient, especially as they both go back a long way - to the Combatant Clergy Association, in fact, which was established to overthrow the Shah.
There are no constitutional checks and balances in Iran of the sort we have between the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the House of Lords, the House of Commons and the Judiciary. A Shia cleric as President with a Shia Ayatollah as Supreme Ruler will combine to perpetuate Shia theological conservatism to the detriment of all minorities. Rouhani is no Shia Luther: like Ahmadinejad, he is simply another Khamenei political puppet. This is not a victory for moderation or reformation, but the affirmation of judicial barbarism, the perpetuation of terrorism and the propagation of religious extremism.
In order to stand in the election at all, Hassan Rouhani needed to be screened by Iran's ‘Guardian Council’ - an unelected body of clerics and jurists that vets election candidates - under the guidance of the Supreme Leader. This ‘Guardian Council’ naturally denies bias, but it ensures that all candidates will maintain ‘Islamic values’. In Iran, this includes the nuclear drive, for it alone can ensure national glory and eternal salvation for the glory of Allah. And we are not talking here of enriching uranium for some civilian energy programme, but the production of a bomb by which Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei may ‘wipe Israel off the map’, welcome the 12th Imam, and usher in the new Islamic era. And if readers and communicants wish to know more about those who fail to live up to these 'Islamic values', he commends the work of the Iran Liberty Association (but warns strongly that their videos are profoundly disturbing).
Cleric Hassan Rouhani is a pious man, devoted like all Shias to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam. This President, like the previous one, believes that his government must prepare the country for the Imam's return. All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days in the company of Isa (Jesus). But President/Cleric Rouhani pledged himself with Ayatollah Khamenei decades ago to work for the return of the Mahdi. Indeed, Iran's military involvement in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq is purposely designed to agitate against Israel to hasten the Last Day. Iran's dominant ‘Twelver’ sect believes the Mahdi will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam and descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.
Iran’s entire theo-political agenda is driven by Shia theology which is guarded by clerics who ensure that all legislation complies with Islamic law. And when it comes to foreign policy, this can only mean one thing for Israel, for they hold to the divine promise made in the Al-Israa Sura (Sura 17) that they will liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque - the first 'Kaba' to the Muslims - and will enter it as they have entered it the first time (Sura 17, ayat 7). And the prophetic foundation is the message of Mohammed that Islam will enter every house and will spread over the entire world.
They are dedicated and pledged with their lives to the ‘liberation of Palestine’ - all of Palestine.
This is Iran’s final solution.
So, don't be fooled by a new, kinder face in Iran's Presidential Palace: he won't stop hanging teenage boys, stoning women, or building nuclear bombs. Nothing will change. The ruling Mullahs have increased control, and the target remains Israel.