On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal posted an editorial entitled, “He’ s Just Not That Into You.” The editorial dealt with the fact that Hassan Rouhani, Iran‘s current president, was not interested in a photo-op handshake with President Obama. The editorial points out that President Clinton was met with a similar refusal in 2000.
The editorial reports:
Back then, the explanation for Mr. Khatami’s refusal was that internal Iranian politics would not have allowed it. On Tuesday, a senior Obama Administration official peddled a similar line after the Rouhani snub, telling reporters that Iranians “have an internal dynamic that they have to manage.”
That’s one way of putting it. Another way is that Iran’s ruling clerics and Revolutionary Guard Corps remain ideologically incapable of reconciling themselves to the Great Satan. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who reviews the 34-year-history of Iranian rebuffs to American diplomatic overtures, which makes the U.S. embarrassment on Tuesday all the more acute.
The thing to keep in mind here is that the president of Iran has no power–the clerics rule the country. The president is chosen by the clerics and controlled by the clerics. Just for the record, they are not a moderate group.
The editorial concludes:
Politics in the normal sense doesn’t exist in Tehran, where the rules are set and the players chosen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who is accountable to nobody. What Iran’s leaders do understand is how to humiliate adversaries they consider to be weak. We hope Mr. Obama appreciates how he has been schooled.