AJC on Iran Elections

June 16, 2013 -- New York -- AJC called the election of Hassan Rowhani as president of Iran potentially noteworthy, but warned against any rush to exultation.

“The election of the reportedly moderate Rowhani, following a large voter turnout and absent the violence that came with the 2009 reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is an encouraging sign,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "But let's not forget that those who ran for the presidency, including Rowhani, had to be approved by the ruling mullahs, meaning pass muster ideologically. Many aspiring candidates did not and were excluded from the ballot."

“At the end of the day, the proof of change in Iranian policies will come only from deeds,” Harris added. “What role, if any, will Rowhani truly have to effect any desired shift, when the unquestioned hub of power lies with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and his entourage?”

“Will Iran now take steps to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and UN on its nuclear program, when Rowhani, an Iranian nuclear negotiator in the past, showed no flexibility?” Harris asked.

“Will Iran end its appalling record on human rights? Will it stop support for Hezbollah and other deadly terror organizations? Will it halt its murderous complicity with the Assad regime that has already killed over 90,000 Syrians?"

"These will be the ultimate litmus tests of whether Friday's election in Iran has true meaning or not.” Harris concluded.