Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, the present, 7th President of Iran, as yet undead, but self-endangered.

Rouhani, the moderate voice of Iran, so moderate he still has stated disquieting statements about Israel. Still, his statements on Israel hardly endanger him. Speech in the Middle East tends to be utterance of hyperbole. The long patrimony of Islamic, Arabic poetry has insured the flowering of rhetoric which is extreme but of far less drama than it implies.

What endangers Rouhani's life is his outreach to Western Powers, and the unfortunate incidence that the West has been unimpressed by his efforts.

Rouhani wisely avoided clasping hands with Barack Obama, but then made a telephone conversation with the US president. He supports peaceful nuclear research, but not nuclear weapons. He seems on the whole a diplomatic flirt with Iran's long-standing foes. All this from a man who does not control Iran's army, from a man who in fact is standing brazenly against the current of Iranian thought, to stand deadly still in front of the American Bison, and pray to Allah that it does not charge him. The shoe is instrumental in Middle Eastern culture. In biblical times it was the symbol of trade and barter. Today, the throwing of a shoe: that which protects the feet of an Arabic man from the hot desert surface, is the ultimate slight. Throwing of eggs and rotten fruit does not quite compare to the throwing of a shoe. It is the throwing of a shoe that Rouhani was subjected to for his outreach to the West.

When the Green Movement arose, western media were enchanted with their charm, or with the charm of what they desired to will into existence into this movement. Interviews with the members of the movement however struck some. The Green movement supported a Nuclear Iran even more durably than the supporters of the 6th President of Iran. The words of that President were understatements of public opinion, grand standing to a radical crowd that he knew he needed the support of.

Rouhani has consistently made advances upon America's virtue, and consistently been brushed aside. He has already negotiated from a position far removed from public opinion in Iran. If America had acknowledged this and rewarded him, perhaps he could be convincing the real powers in Iran of this strategy, of tactical advantage. John Kerry, America's secretary of state (not to be confused with America's gay ambassador to Australia: John Berry), has hardly played the game. John Kerry has refused to allow even public victory for Rouhani. Any nuclear program, even to the extent of that currently in South Africa, is not to be aspired to according to the Americans. Loss of great political cloud, much pomp, much circumstance spent, and Rouhani has not a lot to demonstrate his virtues.

With threats by America to strike Shia linked Syria, and the ethnic cleansing of Shia there and elsewhere, Shia majority Iran has seen damage dealt to the majority of its peoples' ethnicity in the area. It has seen Russia stand up for its ally Syria and America withdraw after a veiled attempt to destabilise it from Syria. The cleric president Rouhani, has found his efforts at reconciliation to be mostly publicity operations for a White House looking for political clout. It has pushed towards Western liberalisation of the Internet, or rather Rouhani has. The silence has been notable, in some forms.

Even as the mixed Western inaction has met eavedropping ears in Iran, the shifting of geo-politics has made it less of a gain to seek Western assurances. Israel, the ally of America, in their newspapers, as well as their political halls, have watched with nausea as the West half reached out to Rouhani, enough to terrify them, but not enough to assure Iranian powers.

Like the often noted iconic French leader: Charles de Gaulle, Rouhani in his outreach to enemies of his nation, in his soft bargaining position and eyelash batting to foes, risks much. Charles de Gaulle was often subject to assassination attempts for a similar process. Rouhani has the added disadvantage of a sceptical West glaring down on him. His advances are looked at sparingly and with distaste by those he seeks to seduce.

Rouhani is out of step with Iranian opinion, purposely so, but his charm attempt has not soothed the Western cobra.

It was a calculated strategy of the 6th President of Iran to unite Iran around the common Western enemy. Rouhani however exists in a more precarious region than that President had encountered. If he does not play his strategy carefully, he risks the powers of stakeholders within Iran.

The French might speak of a Zombie, the Americans of a Dead Man Walking. The more literary world: speak of a man yet undead. A man who brazen and steadfast treads a path at odds with his society. The sort of path Kennedy trod, the kind of route De Gaulle advanced. One aspires that the President of Iran will wisely guide his ship, and focus both on enemies abroad and in his own backyard, his own entrance hall. There are many snakes which need charming if he is to survive the status of as yet undead.

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