Khamenei Once Again Pulls Rug from under Obama

The US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif put on a big show of election victories in Iran, presenting them as a direct outcome of the nuclear deal with Tehran. Their
well-oiled public relations machine informed major Western media outlets that Iran’s moderate conservatives and reformists won a majority in the country’s parliament, the Majlis. It was also announced that moderates have won control of the Assembly of Experts, which chooses Iran supreme leader.
According to the reports, supporters of President Hassan Rouhani and his main political ally Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani would not only control the parliament but also determine who will succeed the country’s supreme leader, extremist Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That is to say, US President Barack Obama was right in assuming that the nuclear agreement between Tehran and Washington would lead to domestic changes and bring the moderates and liberals to power.
But DEBKA Weekly’s Iranian experts were alone in reporting a cunning maneuver by Khamenei and the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards Corps to hide the fact that the extremists and hardliners were actually the winners, and the moderates remained a minority. This fraud was carried out by the election of independent candidates who pretended to be liberals and moderates but were actually loyal to the extremist camp. The same maneuver was carried out in the elections for the Assembly of Experts, with the same results.
Nobody in Washington wants to face up to the real results, and even this week US officials continue to assert that Iranian liberals are on the march.
In the elections for the fifth Assembly of Experts, Ahmad Jannati was elected as head of the body for the next two years. The 89-year-old hardliner has served in the assembly since it was formed in 1980 and been its most influential member since Khamenei became supreme leader. Jannati controlled all four of the previous elections and blocked any action by the Majlis that he believed might be detrimental to Iran’s authoritarian system to keep it immune from democratic reforms.
Rouhani’s ally Rafsanjani, as expected, pulled out of the race for the top post several days before the balloting. DEBKA Weekly’s sources reported several times that close aides to Khamenei, radical clerics and commanders of the Revolutionary Guards threatened to kill Rouhani and put Rafsanjani behind bars if they dared to nominate a moderate or liberal as candidate for head of the assembly.
In order to back up the threats, Rafsanjani’s daughter Faezeh was thrown into prison over alleged contacts with believers in Baha’ism (a forbidden religion in Iran) and with British and Israeli intelligence services. Officials in Washington and other Western capitals chose not to relate to this development and considered it to be nothing more than an aberration.
The only one who took the threats seriously was Rafsanjani, who withdrew his candidacy.
In other words, two-faced Iranian strategy that smiles to the West, especially to the US, like a liberal system, while maintaining an extremist dictatorial system for domestic rule has once more proven its effectiveness, as well as the downfall of Obama’s Iran policy.

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