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Israel Tries to Game Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani's victory in the Iranian presidential elections caught Israel and the West by surprise.
Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani (2nd R) pays his respects to the grave of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at his mausoleum in Tehran June 16, 2013. Reuters/Fars News/Seyed Hassan Mousavi   (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX10Q4E
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At this point, no one can tell what will happen in Iran in the medium and long term following the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency. More is hidden than revealed. The situation is shrouded in mystery, and for any scholarly theory or well-reasoned scenario presented, totally opposite options, no less logically argued, may be suggested. Life and politics have a vitality of their own, as aptly demonstrated in the Middle East over the past two years. 

Rouhani is no reformist. Anyone familiar with the ins and outs of Iranian politics knows it. He is a close associate of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and served as his representative in the National Security Council for 16 consecutive years. In fact, Rouhani is the creation of the ayatollah's regime, its own flesh and blood. At the same time, he is soft-spoken and low-key. His worldview coincides in certain areas with that of the reformists. And he may thus be most accurately characterized as a "former conservative” who has not yet decided which path to follow. Once he makes up his mind, he may find out that it is not going to be a pleasant afternoon stroll. He is currently at a historic crossroads and he must choose his way.

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