Thursday, September 19, 2013
Kudos to Ann Curry of NBC for conducting an interview with Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani. I watched with great interest, especially when it came to questions that pertain to Israel.
Curry later stated: "It was less bombastic, more conciliatory and it was also clear that President Rouhani and his team see that his trip to the United Nations in New York next week will be a major opportunity for improving relations with the west."
Perhaps so, but Mr. Rouhani’s answers were clearly intended to put a better face on the Iranian Regime before his speech at the United Nations next week. Instead, they gave us another fresh peek behind the Iranian diplomatic mask.
For instance, when asked about whether he believed that the Holocaust actually happened, he ignored the question and went back to his purpose for the interview; to influence the West with a softer, gentler voice of reason prior to coming negotiations regarding its nuclear program.
In answer to Curry’s straightforward question about pushing “Israel into the sea” (stated by Rouhani’s predecessor), again he simply obfuscated his own view by going back to the “new face.” He never answered her question.
A recent statement of the Supreme Leader of Iran, the true power behind the Iranian regime, is very telling: “A wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons, but he does not forget about his opponent nor about his main objective.”
Who are his opponents? What is their main objective? The Iranian regime has a very long history of hatred for America, Israel and the West in general. This interview with Ms. Curry changes nothing of substance.
Earlier this week White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration continues to “hope that this new Iranian government will engage substantively to achieve a diplomatic solution” and that the United States “remains ready to engage with the Rouhani government on the basis of mutual respect to achieve a peaceful resolution.” Does that “mutual respect” include the need for truth? Can deniers of the Holocaust be capable of mutual respect?
The Jerusalem Post reports: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded Tuesday to what Jerusalem views as Iran’s “charm offensive” by laying down four stiff criteria for determining whether Tehran has indeed abandoned its nuclear program. “The way to stop Iran’s nuclear program requires four steps: Halting all uranium enrichment; removing all enriched uranium; closing [the uranium enrichment facility at] Qom; and stopping the plutonium track,” Netanyahu told the cabinet. “Only a combination of these four steps will constitute an actual stopping of the nuclear program, and until all four of these measures are achieved, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased”’ he added.
The world must heed the clarity and wisdom of Israel’s Prime Minister on this matter.
This new face given Iran by its figurehead president is merely a second face of a two-faced regime. Can they change? Yes, it is possible. We should move forward with great caution. President Reagan’s words still ring clear: “Trust, but verify.”
In a few days I will again be on the only soil on earth declared “Holy.” I will join with our Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) team, Knesset Members and Parliamentarians from many nations.
Pray for me, for our IAF staff and for the Parliamentarians, that in this time of such tension in the Middle East, Israel and its neighbors may have enduring peace.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.