The international media has been abuzz about the election of a new “reformist” president in Iran. Finally, the hard-line Islamist Mahmoud Ahmadenijad has been replaced, and the man replacing him is a nuclear negotiator who has been involved in the ongoing talks over Iran’s nuclear program.
And while Iranians seem to be happy about the results of the election, everyone else should be wondering just how good this news is. As former UN Ambassador John Bolton pointed out on Fox News Sunday, this so-called “reformer” has proudly and publicly declared that Iran has pulled one over on the West in the nuclear negotiations in the past. He may have some disagreements with Ahmadenijad, but he is hardly a friend of the West.
As bad as Ahmadenijad was, we should wait and see before declaring the election of this supposed reformer a victory for the global community. Regardless of how reform-minded he may be (and he likely isn’t that on board with major reform), Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still the “Supreme Leader” in Iran.
Don’t get me wrong: if Hasan Rowhani truly is the reformer that everyone is saying he is, then this may be a good first step for Iran…but there is plenty of evidence that this election is not as substantive as everyone seems to think it is. Even if it is truly that great, there is still a long way to go before there is anything to be happy about with the Islamic Republic of Iran.