On Sunday, The Independent reported that Iran would send 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops to Syria to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces. Iran took the decision to send soldiers to Syria last week, prior to Friday’s Iranian presidential election, which saw cleric Hassan Rouhani defeat a number of more conservative candidates. The report comes after the USA announced on Thursday that it would begin to arm the Syrian opposition in the face of evidence (sic) that Assad used chemical weapons against rebels on multiple occasions.
16 June 2013
Voice of Russia World Service
There’s much rot written about Hassan Rouhani in the West. He isn’t a Western rightwing neoliberal (“libertarian”, “conservative”)… he was close to Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He’s no Rafsanjani… who’s probably the most pro-Western and pro-libertarian figure in Iran. If anything, he’s an interesting mixture of Khomeini and Shariatmadari, who both, don’t forget, were Grand Ayatollahs and down n’ dirty Twelver Shias. Alawis in Syria regard themselves as Twelvers, so, this report shouldn’t surprise anyone. Given Rouhani’s mainstream position in Twelver theology (mainly, he believes that the government should listen to criticisms emanating from the souk… but not in bowing down to the West), don’t expect any monkeying with the basic structures of the Islamic Republic. Remember, there’s a two-fold reason for the Western criticism of Iran. Firstly, Iran kicked out American military and economic interests. Secondly, Iran took a moderate socialist course, becoming part of the anti-crapitalist bloc. To speak plainly, Iran isn’t going to rejoin the American bloc or totally reject socialism, ergo, expect great disappointment in Western circles later. “The more things change, the more they stay the same” (by the way, Russia and China hailed Rouhani’s election).