January 25, 2013 By

Can Rouhani’s Iran be a healing to us (the US)

Hassan-Rouhani‘Iran’ ,’yeah, that fundamentalist country’, ’a country where women have no rights’, ‘a country that tries to wipe Israel from the globe’, ‘the new Nazis’. These are the major responses to any utterance of the word ‘Iran’. This is the popular western image of Iran.

Iran, an Islamic country, was always in the forefront against western hegemony, especially during Ahmadinejad’s period. But Nejad’s seemingly harsh stand against the West has been useful to the western media to portray him as a threat to freedom; naturally, the West responded to the anti-western rhetoric of Iran with the mask of ‘saviours of freedom and human rights’.

Ahmadinejad’s presidency was, thanks to the focus partly by himself, but more by his foes, marked by tremendous controversies over hard-line stances. Among these were his vociferous Holocaust denial, and the cleansing of Tehran of the ‘reformist’ tendencies of past mayors. The claim that Iran is anti-Semitic is basically derived from western anger to Iranian resistance to any form of what they see as imperialism. In fact Iran, under the presidency of Nejad did register progress in the fields of science and achieved great landmarks in nuclear domain. But such progress always was seen as a threat to West, and thus it was important for them to attack Iran accusing of making ‘Nuclear weapons’. US passed several sanctions against Iran through UN.

The U.S. State Department, as part of its reporting on countries and their treatment of minorities, has made claims of discrimination in Iran against Jews. According to its study, Jews may not occupy senior positions in government and are prevented from serving in the judiciary and security services and from becoming public school heads. The study says that Jewish citizens are permitted to obtain passports and to travel outside the country, but they often are denied the multiple-exit permits normally issued to other citizens.
But such US allegations have been condemned by Iranian Jews. The Association of Tehrani Jews said in a statement, “We Iranian Jews condemn claims of the US State Department on Iranian religious minorities, announce that we are fully free to perform our religious duties and we feel no restriction on performing our religious rituals.” 25,000 Jews live in Iran. It’s the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Iranian Jews are not persecuted or abused by the state; in fact, they are protected under Iran’s constitution. They are free to practice their religion and to vote in elections. They are not stopped and searched at checkpoints, they are not brutalized by an occupying army, and they are not herded into a densely-populated penal colony (aka Israel’s own Gaza) where they are deprived of the basic means of survival. Iranian Jews live in dignity and enjoy the benefits of citizenship. But for west they are still anti-Semites who try to wipe out Jewish population from the map. It is also the popular image about Iran in western minds.

Hassan Rouhani, the new president of Iran is the one who tries to establish a moderated and progressive state. The first thing he seems to aim at is to put up a new face of Iran. There are several reasons that Hassan Rouhani is not Ahmadinejad. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds a Ph.D. in traffic and transport from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran. The former president also served as a lecturer at the university. Iran’s scientific field did achieve significant strides in his period, especially in the field of nuclear science. But Hassan Rouhani, on the other hand, has a coveted educational background in the Islamic Republic. Dr. Rouhani holds a Ph.D. in constitutional law from the Glasgow Caledonian University where he wrote his dissertation on the flexibility of Islamic law in dealing with a country’s governance.

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has lent support of Rouhani’s reformist tendencies so far, including the appointment of a woman, Masoumeh Ebtekar, as his vice president, a diplomatic posture before the West, and his administration’s embrace of social media.

‘But how could an Iranian president be progressive? That’s incredible and we will not believe it’ wonders the west. What the West wants is basically to weaken, if not destroy, the Republic of Iran. If it was about freedom, countries like Saudi Arabia whose freedom records are never ranked high by the same western power, would never have been an ally to them. This is not about that. The claims likes his PhD is plagiarized have something to do with this. Hence their premise is that whatever Hassan Rouhani did, he is a ‘wolf who wears sheep’s skin’ for west.

caption: (frontpagemag.com)

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