Marsha B Cohen writes: For most Israeli politicians, the news of the election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran, is not good. That it is considered good news by anyone else makes it that much worse.
In Poland last Wednesday, two days before Iranians went to the polls, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that the results would bring about no meaningful change in Iran. Hours before reports of the election’s outcome began to be announced, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israel think tank, that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, would decide who the next Iranian president would be. The imminent Iranian election would change nothing.
As news of Rouhani’s garnering more than half the votes cast in Iran began to emerge, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, echoed the widespread view that it is Khamenei who makes all the decisions concerning the Iranian nuclear program, not the Iranian president. “After the elections, Iran will continue to be judged by its actions, in the nuclear sphere as well as on the issue of terror,” Palmor said in a statement.” Iran must abide by the demands of the international community to stop its nuclear program and cease the dissemination of terror throughout the world.”
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, Netanyahu derided not only the possible impact of a Rouhani-presidency on Iran’s policies, but also whether Rouhani even deserved to be considered a moderate since Khamenei had allowed him to run: [Continue reading…]