- Muslim Unity: “We should not allow enemies to use terrorist groups to portray the religion of Islam… as the religion of killing, violence and destruction“.
- The Source of Power: “We do not see our power in weapons. We see our power in logic, reasoning and hoisting the flag of peace“.
- Regional Friendship: “Iran is never to use its scientific, political and spiritual power against any regional Muslim country or neighbor“.
These three statements are supposed to foster good will among the world’s Islamic communities and countries but unfortunately, they portray an illusion that is far removed from the realities of Tehran. Once again, it seems that Rouhani is a master at rebranding Tehran from the outside while keeping Tehran’s regional and global aspirations alive.
Who are “the enemies”? The West/US. The fact that Tehran’s enemies include the Syrian rebels, Saudi Arabia, the current Yemenite government etc…is astutely off the Rouhani’s agenda.
Rouhani’s efforts to pin the blame of Islamic Radicalism on the West is far-fetched since Islam has systematically been abused by Radical Fundamentalist Organizations and Islamic governments, including Tehran, for decades. What Rouhani conveniently forgets to mention is Tehran’s continued financial and military support for some of these terrorist organizations and even its political support for others such as in the case of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
And what about Khamenei’s call to “harshly, severely and humiliatingly punish(ed) and kill(ed)” anyone who opposes the regime without restrictions to “any time or place…even if they have escaped the country“? And how about Ayatollah Amoli’s call to “emancipate Islam’s holy sites from Saudi control” which has “turned it to a house of idols and indulged themselves in drunken revelry“? Islamic unity? Definitely not.
Only one week later, Rouhani issued a contradictory statement: “We should strengthen our defense capability, so that the agreement and stability will remain sustainable in this country and our cordial ties with the region and the world will remain amicable and lasting” – “Logic”?
The Iranian army and/or its proxies are currently fighting in three wars in four neighboring countries: Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Gaza. “Logic”???
Rouhani may talk about “logic, reasoning and the flag of peace” but Tehran is and remains heavily invested in many regional military conflicts and does not mean to stop supporting these wars in the near future: “We have announced that our defense capability will continue unharnessed and our arms aids to our allies will continue too“. And how about Tehran’s upcoming “huge ballistic missile exercise” ? Also part of Tehran’s power of “logic”?
The “scientific” part of Iran’s power obviously alludes to Tehran’s nuclear program which many countries, including some of Iran’s neighbors, believe will be militarized by Iran at some point in the future. Can its Muslim neighbors really count on Tehran not dropping a nuclear bomb on them? Saudi Arabia, for one, isn’t ready to take the chance and is ready to purchase its own nuclear weapon if Tehran will rush for the bomb.
But what is more cynical is Rouhani’s promise to not use it “political and spiritual power” against its Muslim neighbors since “Exporting the Revolution” is a critical part of the Iranian constitution and calls for Tehran to support the “oppressed” people wherever they may be. In fact, as Zarif explains it, Tehran has “a viewpoint that has the potential to be projected globally and change the international order.” And how does Tehran plan to achieve this? By constantly meddling in internal politics through supporting Shiite factions in Sunni countries.
Over the last month alone, a terrorist cell with ties to Tehran was busted in Bahrain while a large arms cache emanating from Tehran was discovered in Kuwait.
Rouhani’s speech at the Ahlul Bayat council was meant to allay fears by its neighbors, but it is simply pure propaganda with no base in reality. Rouhani may preach about “Muslim unity”, “logic” and not attacking its neighbors until he is blue in the face – the regime in Tehran remains an aggressive force intent on regional and Islamic domination and its neighbors fear it. Because although Khamenei blames the US for the “disintegration” of Iraq and Syria, it is first and foremost Tehran which is responsible from trying to “disintegrate the region” in order to replace it with the “Islamic Revolution”.