Mainstream Western media praising Hassan Rowhani, Iran's president-elect, as a “voice of moderation” and a “reformist” no doubt please the radical clerics who actually rule in Tehran. The more he's seen as something other than what he is — one of the mullahs' own — the more easily they can continue developing nuclear weapons by stringing along an America distracted by his election.
That makes his upcoming presidency a variation on the sort of distraction tactic that Mr. Rowhani himself has bragged about using in the past as Iran's top nuclear negotiator, according to former Pentagon adviser Michael Rubin, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Rowhani might use rhetoric less extreme on its face but there's no reason to expect genuine change for the better once he takes office in August. Long part of Tehran's inner circles of power, he's beholden to the radicals who call the shots — and Iran shows no signs of actually changing course.
Indeed, just last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran had installed advanced nuclear centrifuges that can speed its accumulation of bomb-grade nuclear material. And Iran also is bringing an alternate source of such material — a heavy-water nuclear reactor — online soon.
At best, Rowhani's election signals a superficial change in style — not a change in substance. He's simply the new face of Iran's nuclear ambitions, which remain as dangerous as ever.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.