Rafsanjani's Doubletalk

I am right now staring with some amazement at the front page of the Investor's Business Daily, which is graced with a photo of former (and would-be future) Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The caption quotes this worthy as saying, "I am going for a policy of relaxation of tension and deténte." Rafsanjani is apparently running on a platform of specifically not developing a nuclear weapon.

This is of course the same Rafsanjani who said on December 13, 2001:
If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world…. Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix [i.e. Israel] is extracted from the region and the Muslim world.
I am willing to imagine that he may have changed his mind. After all, the nuclear program is wildly unpopular within Iran; Iranians have no desire to get into a shooting war over some mullah's homicidal fantasies. But I think this is just one more sign of how rigged the elections really are. Rafsanjani is hardly an outsider candidate, promising to reform the system. He is an old friend of the ayatollas, and everybody knows it. If there were real reform candidates on the ballot, our dear friend Rafsanjani wouldn't stand a chance. He may be moderating his talk now in hopes of avoiding Western ire, but I don't think we should let him get off that easily.

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