Make No Mistake: Iran’s Hardliners & Moderates Have Same Aims

We’ve been pondering the “moderate” nature of Iran’s moderates since the June 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani. Since he won his seat on a “moderate” ticket, we have been hard-pressed to find evidence of Rouhani’s moderation: the unprecedented rise in executions certainly doesn’t fit the bill, nor does the continued belligerency towards the United States.

Sure, all this has often been hidden behind eloquent, measured rhetoric – but even the careful language used by Iran’s cadre of suit-clad, Western-educated ministers, which can seem almost liberal and benevolent at times, can’t hide the truth behind the words. Case in point? Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s laughable attempt to claim that Iran doesn’t jail people for their opinions.

Last month, we brought you The Daily Beast’s history lesson on that time Ronald Reagan thought it would be a good idea to place his trust in Iran’s “moderates.” This week, we’ve come across another take on these “moderates” – one that warns that not only are they no less extreme than Iran’s more outspoken hardliners, but that they use moderation as a tactic to pursue (and “save”) the same revolution as their more “conservative” compatriots. As evidenced by the misplaced “optimism” of countries such as the UK, which was eager to forget the 2011 ransacking of its Tehran embassy when it reopened the embassy a few weeks ago, this tactic works.

This thought-provoking opinion was expressed late last month by Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, who hit the nail on the head with his analysis of the belligerent ideology that still lurks behind the seemingly softer stance of Iran’s so-called “moderates,” with whom the West has forged an “untenable” alliance. According to Lake and his expert sources, although Iran’s moderates have cultivated an image which distinguishes them from the hardliners and even implies a dynamic of conflict and “push and pull” between them, their positions are actually no less “dangerous.”

In other words, while Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are busy carrying out violent “revolutionary” ends in the here and now, Rouhani and his ministers are more “patient thinkers,” sending holiday greetings to Jews, but holding a “more long-term and determined” – and no less revolutionary – world view. Hence, like the moderates’ rhetoric, their actions are simply a more “refined” means to the same extreme end – Islamic revolution and “resistance.”

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in Hassan Rouhani, Human Rights, Iranian Nuclear Crisis, Iranian Politics, Media Coverage, Mohammad Javad Zarif
11 comments on “Make No Mistake: Iran’s Hardliners & Moderates Have Same Aims
  1. […] aren’t active on Instagram – because “the latest fashion” and “the trendiest gadgets” do not always correspond to a truly moderate world-view. In other words, sometimes “rebranding” is, well, just […]

  2. […] called into question the distinction between Iran’s moderates and hardliners, as ultimately they share the same aims. In addition, the entire parliament is devoid of real power because all laws have to be approved by […]

  3. […] boycott the election. Setting aside the fact that the “moderates” in Iran continue to pursue the same ultimate goals as the “hardliners,” what begins to emerge is a picture of desperation and distorted […]

  4. […] Post would suggest that Syria is another area in which there is no distinction between Iran’s so-called “moderates” and hardliners: none have contested or criticized Iran’s ongoing presence in Syria, nor the destruction it has […]

  5. […] hinted, is no more “moderate” than any other regime insider, as we and other critics have stated in the past) was even elected. This, wrote INU, would indicate that Rouhani and his so-called “moderation” […]

  6. […] her op-ed, Boniadi made the commonly made (but mistaken) distinction between Rouhani, who she wrote “welcomes” diaspora Iranians, and the “hardliners” who […]

  7. […] in Iran is still going strong – and that Iran hasn’t really been transformed under the “moderate” Rouhani. So if Khamenei claims Washington’s aims are “180 degrees opposed to Iran’s,” then […]

  8. […] The path to what? Rapprochement, presumably. But haven’t we already wizened up to Iran’s “naïve” moderate vs. hardliner act, particularly after executions shot up alarmingly under the “moderate” Rouhani during his three years in office? Are the aims of the two factions truly different? […]

  9. […] punishments have surged, among other indications that there isn’t much substance behind the moderate-hardliner divide – was described by Thomas Erdbrink over at The New York Times as making “efforts to bring […]

  10. […] hardline forces may be trying to “torpedo” the nuclear deal and undermine the country’s so-called “moderates” politically, who were said to have been fully compliant with the nuclear deal since its […]

  11. […] to confirm and reaffirm that Iran, despite its “moderate” demeanor, and despite the tendency to write off any hostile, corrupt, repressive, sinister, or generally untoward Iranian behavior as stemming from […]

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