Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is very eloquent man, no doubt but his policies has been very same policy that supreme leader Khamenei and President Ahamdinejad are running. Some would argue, he is moderate and different than radicals in Islamic Iran but as I argued over and over that he is the same thing. Only difference between him and Ahmadinejad is, he speaks nicely to foreign national on his overseas tours but inside of Iran, he follows and speaks very same policy.
Michael Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute has an informative article about Khatami which he clearly explains Khatami’s hypocritical speeches inside and outside of Iran.
Let’s see what Michael found out about Khatami:
On March 9, 1999, during his first visit to Europe, Khatami told the Italian parliament: "Tolerance and exchange of views are the fruits of cultural richness, creativity, high-mindedness and harmony. One must recognise this opportunity." Back in Iran, though, his message was different. He banned Israeli and Jewish non-government organisations from participating in the Tehran preparatory meeting ahead of the UN Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
Then, speaking to Iranian television on October 24, 2000, he declared: "If we abide by human laws, we should mobilise the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime. If we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilise to kill."
While proponents of dialogue latch on to Khatami's call, the former president's own aides depict his dialogue as tactical, and insincere. Speaking on June14 last year, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Khatami's former spokesman, told a university audience: "We had one overt policy, which was one of negotiation and confidence-building, and a covert policy, which was continuation of the activities."
As Michael pointed out Khatami wasn't sincere in his pormises:
Many of Khatami's foreign supporters suggest he was sincere in his desire for reform, but Iran's power circles constrained him. Iranian civil society is not so sure.
On February 27 this year, Iranian civil rights activist Emad al-Din Baghi recounted how "Khatami forgot all his promises of reforms" on his election.
Answering hardline critics in Qom last month, Khatami affirmed that his support for the revolution trumped any other principle. So much for the "defence of democracy".
Khatami is part of Islamic republic and I was wondering how politicians would be fooled by his speeches instead of looking at his track record:
As University of Virginia political scientist George Michael noted in a2007 Middle East Quarterly article, "it was under Khatami that Iranian policy shifted from anti-Zionism to unabashed anti-Semitism".
Dialogue is not always a panacea. Not every partner is sincere. While some are too radical or violent to engage, the more dangerous are those such as Khatami, who have mastered the art of public relations. They should be judged on their actions, however, rather than their rhetoric.
To do otherwise is simply to become a useful idiot enabling the furtherance of values and actions antithetical to liberalism, tolerance and democracy.
Check out Michal's article "Khatami is just Ahmadinejad with a silver tongue" on The Australian