Hassan Rouhani, the new president of the Islamic
Republic of Iran, has been hailed as a moderate and
reformer. Whilst he smiles abroad, however, the attack
on women and girls in Iran continues unabated.
Rouhani is not a reformer in any sense of the word.
Reform in the real world means real changes in the laws
and peopleís lives. Whilst Rouhaniís rhetoric and style
are clearly different from his predecessor Ahmadinejad,
in substance they are fundamentally the same.
Everyone knows that anyone who has the opportunity to
run for the office of president must be vetted by the
Supreme Spiritual Leader and the Guardian Council. They
must be a stalwart of the regime and Rouhani has proven
his loyalties since its establishment. He was part of
Ayatollah Khomeiniís entourage when Khomeini returned
from exile in 1979; deputy leader of the Iran-Iraq war
in the 1980s; a Member of the Islamic Assembly or
Parliament for 20 years; Chairman of the Supreme
National Security Council for 16 years; and Iranís Chief
Nuclear Negotiator for 2 years.
When looking at the workings of a repressive state like
Iran, one has to be able to read between the lines in
order to see the realities at play. It is not Rouhani
who wants or must be credited for any calls for change
and an end to religionís intervention in peopleís lives.
It is what the people of Iran want. Credit must be given
where credit is due. When the head of a theocracy that
has maintained itself by slaughtering an entire
generation begins to speak of rights and freedoms, it is
because he and his regime have been forced to do so by
the sheer might of peopleís dissent and resistance.
Remember this. It is not Rouhani that must be hailed but
the people of Iran, and especially its womenís
Finally, saying Rouhani is more of the same old same old
is not in any way a support of US-led militarism or a
call for the continuation of the back-breaking economic
sanctions that are adversely affecting the public.
Threats of war and economic sanctions are the other side
of the coin of the regime and its oppression of the
people of Iran. They have to end.