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Rohani Seeks Rapprochement

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Sep. 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM


Rohani Seeks Rapprochement

by Stephen Lendman

On September 19, Iranian President Hassan Rohani addressed Americans and US officials directly. He did so responsibly.

His Washington Post op-ed headlined "Why Iran seeks constructive engagement." More on that below.

America and Iran are polar opposites. Obama represents the worst of rogue governance. Hypocrisy substitutes for democracy. War on humanity is official policy. Peace is verboten.

In contrast, Iranian President Hassan Rohani combines diplomacy, political acumen and scholarship. He's known as the "Diplomat Sheikh." He earned master's and doctoral law degrees.

He urges peace and reconciliation. He promises "government of hope and prudence." He pledges "constructive interaction with the world."

According to former US national security officials Flynt and Hillary Leverett:

Rohani's election "presents Washington with an opportunity" for long rebuffed rapprochement. Doing so requires "accept(ing) the Islamic Republic as an enduring entity representing legitimate national interests."

Since its 1979 revolution, Washington wrongfully declared it "an illegitimate order." Dirty war followed.

It includes harsh sanctions, sabotage, subversion, cyber attacks, assassinations, saber rattling, falsified IAEA hype, ad nauseam warmongering, manipulated to fail P5+1 talks, and inflammatory demonizing rhetoric.

It's long past time these practices ended. Rohani reached out responsibly. He's severely challenged. He faces long odds.

Obama spurns peace and reconciliation. He wants Iranian sovereignty destroyed. He maintains a military option to do so.

He told ABC News:

"I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat against Israel that a nuclear Iran poses is much closer to our core interests."

Tehran "shouldn’t draw a lesson that we haven't struck (Syria) to think that we won't strike Iran," he added.

Rohani is polar opposite. His "prudence and hope" agenda "gained a broad, popular mandate," he said. Iranians support him.

They do so for good reason. His domestic and international affairs approach endorses change. They see it "as long overdue," said Rohani.

"I’m committed to fulfilling my promises to my people, including my pledge to engage in constructive interaction with the world," he stressed.

He deserves to be taken seriously. His inaugural address promised responsible leadership.

"The Iran that (its enemies) predicted would be dragged into internal dispute and face a chasm between the system and the people according to their plans created a great epic and disappointed (them) through the vibrant participation of people from all walks of life," he said.

Iranians expect leaders to create stability, allay their concerns, and resolve problems responsibly, he added.

"I believe that the power of the government lies in strengthening popular support and fulfilling the pledges made to the people. This commitment requires loyalty and honesty with the people."

The electoral outcome "was not the result of a chasm between the people and the ruling system since the Iranian people chose a person as president who had serious responsibilities for years in the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"The election demonstrated the Iranian people's pursuit of dignity."

"The orientation of the administration is toward saving Iran’s economy, interacting with the world constructively, and reviving morality."

"We will take new steps for the elevation of the status of the Iranian people, while serving national interests, and for the removal of the sanctions."

Rohani's WaPo op-ed said "(t)he world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously."

"Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities."

"The international community faces many challenges in this new world - terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and cultural encroachment - all within a framework that has emphasized hard power and the use of brute force."

"We must pay attention to the complexities of the issues at hand to solve them."

"Enter my definition of constructive engagement. In a world where global politics is no longer a zero-sum game, it is - or should be - counterintuitive to pursue one's interests without considering the interests of others."

"A constructive approach to diplomacy doesn't mean relinquishing one's rights."

"It means engaging with one's counterparts, on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives."

"In other words, win-win outcomes are not just favorable but also achievable. A zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone's loss."

Unilateralism often overshadows constructive approaches, he added. "Security is pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others, with disastrous consequences."

"The unilateral approach, which glorifies brute force and breeds violence, is clearly incapable of solving issues we all face, such as terrorism and extremism."

"My approach to foreign policy seeks to resolve these issues by addressing their underlying causes. We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart."

"We must also pay attention to the issue of identity as a key driver of tension in, and beyond, the Middle East."

"I am committed to confronting our common challenges via a two-pronged approach."

"First, we must join hands to constructively work toward national dialogue."

"Second, we must address the broader, overarching injustices and rivalries that fuel violence and tensions." Doing so must work for "win-win solutions," he stressed.

"Rather than focusing on how to prevent things from getting worse, we need to think - and talk - about how to make things better."

"To do that, we all need to muster the courage to start conveying what we want - clearly, concisely and sincerely - and to back it up with the political will to take necessary action."

"This is the essence of my approach to constructive interaction." He urged world leaders to pursue "prudent engagement." He prioritizes "constructive dialogue."

February 11, 2014 marks the 35th anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution. It ended a generation of repressive Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi rule. Decades of US hostility followed.

It includes multiple rounds of harsh sanctions. They have no legitimacy. Imposing them violates international law.

At issue is harming Iran's economy. Washington wants Tehran politically isolated. It wants ordinary Iranians suffering most.

Imposing harshness hopes to turn them against their government. It's been tried many times before. It never works.

Iranians aren't fooled. They know Washington and Israel are Tehran's main enemies. They deplore peace, equity and justice.

They're imperial partners. They threaten humanity. They violate international law. They do so with impunity.

They prioritize war. They commit high crimes against peace repeatedly. They want pro-Western subservient governments replacing independent ones.

War is their option of choice. Unchallenged world dominance is sought.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another nation in centuries. It's pursuing constructive engagement. It remains to be seen what follows.

Washington prioritizes advancing its imperium. Permanent war is policy. America and Israel threaten humanity. Iranian sovereignty is targeted for destruction.

On September 18, NBC interviewed Rohani. He vowed never to develop nuclear weapons.

"We have time and again said that under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever," he stressed.

Netanyahu reacted with derision. "Let us not be fooled by the Iranian president's words of deception," he said.

"The Iranians are creating media spin in order to keep the centrifuges spinning."

"The test is not in Rouhani's words, but in the deeds of the Iranian regime, which continues to vigorously pursue its nuclear program at the same time that Rouhani grants interviews."

US National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said:

"The world has heard a lot from President Rohani's administration about its desire to improve the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran's relations with the international community, and President Obama believes we should test that assertion."

"We hope that this new Iranian government will engage substantively in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program."

So-called concern is red herring cover for long planned regime change. Washington knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. So does Israel. They pretend otherwise.

No change in policy is likely. Expect Rohani's best efforts to be spurned. Expect Assad to fair no better.

Israel wants regional rivals removed. America seeks unchallenged global dominance. Waging war on Syria and Iran may follow. Peace for our time remains a convenient illusion.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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