Iran Election Buzz
Fox Business News, June 12, 2009
Alireza Jafarzadeh, Foreign Affairs Analyst and Iran Expert
David Asman: Iranians are headed to
the polls today to vote for their next president and both
main candidates are now claiming victory. State media is now
saying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been a thorn in the
side of the US for a couple of years now has made repeated
threats towards Israel and others and is all for the nuclear
program is 66% of the vote, of the votes that have been
counted so far but his main opponent, Mir Hossein Moussavi,
told a news conference that he is the actual winner. There
he is, the guy with the white beard. The presidential race
has been hotly contested and some observers hope that a
Moussavi win might mean a thawing of relations of some kind
Alireza, now first you. Now I read something that you wrote, saying that itís a sham election because both guys are both going to be doing the same thing and the real power is actually held by the ayatollah and all of the clerics. But wouldnít there be at least some ray of light if this alternative to Ahmadinejad wins?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well I think, tactically speaking, maybe for a few days or few weeks there you might see some relief. But whoever comes out as winner would have to pursue the policies of the Supreme Leader; would have to stick with the policies of the regime regarding the nuclear weapons program., regarding what theyíre doing in Iran, and regarding their overall policies in the Middle East. And donít forget. Moussavi who has been portrayed as the big moderate voice, does not have a moderate background. He was Prime Minster for eight years. He presided over the Iran-Iraq war, sending children to the minefields, sweeping minefield. He presided over the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, when thirty thousand political prisoners were murdered. And he had very many radical anti American, anti-Israeli stances when he was in office. So I donít think anyone should believe them.
David Asman: By the way, didnít
Alireza, he has something to do with the Ď83 marine barrack
Absolutely, remember in the mid-eighties, that was
the time that
David Asman: Itís good to get that
background out there. Because heís still the same guy and
some of these guys donít change their stripes. But Jim, the
question I have, Iranians have this wonderful history,
Alireza Iím sure will back me up on this, as being
entrepreneurs. Iíve known a lot of business people from
Jim Philips: I think the Iranians
would like that, especially if they could improve business
David Asman: Whatís a supreme
leader? But Alireza, I mean the voice on
Well certainly, Ahmadinejad is the more controversial
person, thereís no doubt about that. But when we put aside
the rhetoric and look at the substance, in fact, Ahmadinejad
in terms of pursuing policies against the West, against the
David Asman: The big Cahoona here
is that what happens if
Jim Philips: I think hopes for a negotiated exit from this impasse are really falling quickly, regardless of who wins this election, unfortunately the Iranian strategy seems to keep the talks going in order to buy time to complete their nuclear project.
David Asman: Well you know the
Israelis are not going to buy it. The Israelis are far
smarter about what the Iranians are doing than anybody in
Jim Philips: I think there is a real possibilities and much greater than most people in this country realize. That the Israelis are going to act. Because they have the worldís foremost state-sponsor of terrorism now working on the one of the worldís most terrifying weapons.
David Asman: Okay so Alireza, if they do it, and you just heard Jim say, that itís a good possibility. What happens then? What do the Iranianís do in retaliation? What happens to the world if the Israeliís take out those reactors?
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well I donít
really think that would alleviate the Iranian threat.
Because remember, the threat coming from
David Asman: So what happens
Alireza? We only have a couple of seconds. What would
Iím sure they would attempt to do all of that. But I
think the real solution lies inside
David Asman: Alright. Alireza Jafarzadeh, who is by the way the author of The Iran Threat. We thank you and Jim Philips from the Heritage Foundation. Good to see you both.
Alireza Jafarzadeh is a FOX News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst and the author of "The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
Jafarzadeh has revealed Iran's terrorist network in Iraq and its terror training camps since 2003. He first disclosed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy water facility in August 2002.