Naming a general who figured prominently in the 1983 bombing that killed 241 American servicemen in Lebanon as his defense minister and other appointments he has made confirm that new Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is anything but the “moderate” that some gullible Western observers have claimed.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Mr. Rowhani's defense-minister choice is Gen. Hussein Dehqan. A career Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) member, the general spent years building Hezbollah in Lebanon, says retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Shimon Shapiro, an authority on Hezbollah and a former top intelligence official who wrote a recent Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report on Mr. Dehqan.
Mr. Shapiro says it was Dehqan, then commanding IRGC forces in Lebanon, who received the order from Tehran that resulted in the dastardly 1983 Beirut bombings of not just the U.S. Marine barracks but also French paratroopers' barracks, where 84 died.
Rowhani also has chosen a Holocaust denier to be his foreign minister. His intelligence minister has spoken of not backing down in the face of U.S. and allied “arrogance.” And Rowhani lately has called Israel a “wound” in the Middle East and stoked Iran's nuclear ambitions.
These are the actions of a radical Islamist elected president with the blessing of Tehran's ruling elite, not a “moderate” — and U.S. policy toward Iran must be shaped accordingly, not by illusory wishes and hopes.
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