President Rohani, like the presidents who came before him, is a loyal servant of the regime. He was one of only six candidates the regime permitted to run for office. See, nearly 700 other candidates were rejected.
So what made him acceptable? Well, Rohani headed Iran's Supreme National Security Council from 1989 through 2003. During that time Iran's henchmen gunned down opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant. They murdered 85 people at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. They killed 19 American soldiers by blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Are we to believe that Rohani, the national security adviser of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks?
Of course he did, just as 30 years ago Iran's security chiefs knew about the bombings in Beirut that killed 241 American Marines and 58 French paratroopers.
Rohani was also Iran's chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005. He masterminded the -- the strategy which enabled Iran to advance its nuclear weapons program behind a smoke screen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric.
Now I know: Rohani doesn't sound like Ahmadinejad. But when it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing. Rohani is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the eyes -- the wool over the eyes of the international community.
Well, like everyone else, I wish we could believe Rohani's words, but we must focus on Iran's actions. And it's the brazen contrast, this extraordinary contradiction, between Rohani's words and Iran's actions that is so startling. Rohani stood at this very podium last week and praised Iranian democracy -- Iranian democracies. But the regime that he represents executes political dissidents by the hundreds and jails them by the thousands.
Rohani spoke of, quote, "the human tragedy in Syria." Yet, Iran directly participates in Assad's murder and massacre of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Syria. And that regime is propping up a Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people.
Rohani condemned the, quote, "violent scourge of terrorism." Yet, in the last three years alone, Iran has ordered, planned or perpetrated terrorist attacks in 25 cities in five continents.
Rohani denounces, quote, "attempts to change the regional balance through proxies." Yet, Iran is actively destabilizing Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and many other Middle Eastern countries.