Israel’s Mad Science of Iranian Politics

Controversy has exploded in the Iran experts’ laboratory in Israel. Who gave the order to cook up this elixir called Iranian President Hasan Rowhani?

A photo of Dr. Zvi Bar'el.
Zvi Bar'el
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A photo of Dr. Zvi Bar'el.
Zvi Bar'el

Controversy has exploded in the Iran experts’ laboratory in Israel. Who gave the order to cook up this elixir called Iranian President Hasan Rowhani?

There is no doubt it came from above and had malicious intent. They won’t fool us with this story of “public opinion” and “the voice” of the Iranian people.

It was all concocted by Iran’s spiritual leader. If he had wanted to appoint someone else, he would have only had to blink to direct millions of votes to the candidate − even if he were a lame donkey.

In Iran, 50 million voters aren’t allowed to err. Everything is magnificently planned there. There are no mistakes, except Mohammed Khatami’s election, of course, and that of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The conspiracy is clear. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pretended to choose Jalili ‏(or let us call him, with a touch of familiarity, Saeed‏) to run; he pretended to prefer conservative candidates. But the scoundrel pulled one over on us, splitting the vote between them. Then, to serve his own interests, he whispered in the ears of millions of citizens, telling them to vote for Rowhani.

In this way, he knew, he would be able to soothe the West while continuing to piece together an atom bomb in his playroom. “Ha, what a surprise it will be for U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu,” the villain cackled, rubbing his hands together. “But it must be done carefully, so the conspiracy isn’t revealed prematurely. I’ll give Rowhani just a bit over 50 percent of the vote, so it won’t be appear the entire nation supports him. I’ll split the surplus votes among the rest of the candidates to create a puppet presidency. But what if Rowhani doesn’t cross the 50 percent threshold? And what if several million people refuse my order or can’t guess what I want?”

Well, that wouldn’t happen in the Iran we know in Israel.

That, more or less, sums up the speculation, findings and prescriptions of the experts at the lab. Now begins the rush to discover the nature of this wonder potion.

What is written on the packaging? Is Rowhani a reformist or not? Most reformists voted for him, but almost half of those who turned out did not. He received slightly more than 18 million votes from 36 million voters, but only 35 percent of the 50 million eligible voters in Iran gave him their support. And that means he only represents some 23 percent of Iran’s 80 million citizens.

So what can be said? Is Iran more or less conservative? Will the reformist president, as he has already been deemed, ignore the “conservative” half of the public? Will he expand women’s rights, as reformists have demanded, or tighten supervision of public behavior to satisfy the other half of society?

Sorry, a lab technician interjects in the experts’ lab. But this isn’t how we define a reformist. The distinction is simple: Is he for or against Iran’s nuclear program? Does he favor dialogue with the U.S.? And does he deny the Holocaust? There are clear criteria, colleagues, and it’s impossible to reinvent political chemistry.

Indeed, there is a problem. We have already agreed Rowhani doesn’t control the nuclear program or dialogue with the U.S., just Holocaust rhetoric. So what do we care whether or not he’s a reformist? We didn’t postpone war with Iran because of human rights, freedom of expression and the status of women, and it wasn’t out of support for these causes that we rejoiced when Rowhani was elected. Let the reformists in Iran worry about these things. We, as is known, don’t interfere in Iran’s internal affairs ‏(or those of Syria or Saudi Arabia‏).

But we can’t wait and see, someone else chimed in. The audience outside is waiting impatiently to learn whether to run to the bomb shelters or get dressed for the party.

So let’s decide he’s a generic president, proposed the expert who sat in the prime minister’s seat. Not a reformist, not a conservative, just an Israel hater and swindler like those before him; in short, an Iranian president.

If Khamenei really had meticulously planned the election, it would have been to trick Israel into reaching this very conclusion − revealing the country’s bias. He knows so-called liberal Israel loves reformists but hates Iranian presidents. What a wonderful scheme; what a victory.

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