Here’s how NBC News heralded the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani last year:
Voters in Iran re-elected moderate President Hassan Rouhani by a large margin over his hardline opponent. The win gives Rouhani a mandate to push for greater freedoms in Iran and better relationships around the world.
Rouhani is a moderate because, well… because NBC says he is.
That’s been the story since Rouhani won his first term in 2013. Rouhani’s opponents are “hardliners” while he and his allies are “moderates” and “reformers.”
There is nothing the Western press loves more when reporting on Iran than to describe this politician or that politician as a “moderate.” It proves how perceptive they are that they can discern differences between hardliners who want to destroy Israel and moderates who… want to destroy Israel.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called Israel a “cancerous tumor” established by Western countries to advance their interests in the Middle East.
Iran’s leaders frequently condemn Israel and predict its demise, but Rouhani, a relative moderate, rarely employs such rhetoric.
Addressing an annual Islamic Unity Conference on Saturday, Rouhani said “one of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region.” He went on to refer to Israel as a “fake regime” set up by Western countries.
Iran supports militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas that are pledged to Israel’s destruction. Iran has never threatened to attack Israel, but has vowed to retaliate if it is attacked. Israel views Iran as an existential threat.
There is no such thing as a “relative moderate” in the Iranian leadership. It’s like saying that Albert Speer was a “relatively moderate” Nazi. Rouhani would not be where he is unless he embraced the official state policy of Iran that Israel must be destroyed and the Jews extinguished as a race.
Neither would Rouhani be president unless he ascribed to the oppressive Sharia law, which is written into the Iranian constitution and enforced by religious police who beat women in the street if they’re not covered properly.
But the Western press, ever hopeful of finding that unicorn in the manure pile, continue to push Rouhani as somehow different than the rest of Iranian leadership. It’s a pretense that few in the press actually believe, but it’s a convenient fiction that makes them appear to be knowledgeable and learned.
Iran is an enemy of the United States, an enemy of Israel, and an enemy of humanity. You don’t make deals with those who seek to destroy you until they renounce their intention to kill you. Obama never understood that. Trump does.