Iran’s Rouhani Europe Visit Was A Fiasco
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Iran’s Rouhani Europe Visit Was A Fiasco

The highly-boasted visit to Italy and France by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to an end after signing what appears to be very lucrative deals worth dozens of billions of dollars with various firms. Iran’s own media outlets, and unfortunately their pro-appeasement counterparts in the West, went the limits to depict an image as if a man had landed on Mars. The real picture is a very bitter contrast as the economic situation inside Iran portrays a very grim canvas, the Iranian opposition has significantly upgraded its status in the balance of power and both Europe and the United States are threatening and slapping new sanctions against Iran. All in all, behind all the propaganda, Rouhani has returned to Iran after a sham visit to Europe.

Despite all the fuss about the economic concessions provided to Iran once again by the West, one cannot deny the fact that this visit was riddled with criticism and humiliating measures and embarrassment for the Iranian delegation. Rouhani was “welcomed” by a very cold and barren-faced French President Francoise Hollande only one day after Paris had called for new sanctions by the European Union against Iran. No one ever saw Hollande smiling during the signing of various agreements.

Aside from all the protocols, the French President reminded Rouhani in their press conference that France belongs to human rights and freedoms, and Paris considers these freedoms credible for all countries. Hollande also reiterated that the fight against terrorism can take place without actually violating human rights. He literally hammered the last nail in the coffin for Rouhani by emphasizing there is no doubt that France stands firmly behind Saudi Arabia and its position in the Middle East.

While Iran may boast about sanctions being lifted, we should not forget Washington also blacklisted 11 more Iranian firms and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program after the “landmark” nuclear deal. Adam Szubi, the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran’s ballistic missile program as a significant threat for global and regional security, adding international sanctions will hover over this portion of Iran’s dangerous activities. Recent missiles tests have proven his words very correct.

Rouhani’s promises inside Iran do no match the skyrocketing unemployment tsunami and overall economic crisis. At a time when Iran is in need of $1 trillion in investment in the next ten years, according to various experts, the result of Rouhani’s trip is quite the opposite with more imported goods to flood in. Rouhani has pledged nearly all the money scheduled to be released from the sanctions relief to Italy and France, and let’s not forget U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry admitting much of the billions “will end up in the hands of the [Revolutionary Guard] or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” The question is, whatever happened to encouraging investment inside Iran because Rouhani has invested over $43 billion outside of the country.

The deal to purchase 118 new and second-hand Airbus planes from France is quite strange, and God knows when these planes will actually be delivered to Iran. This question comes to mind: Was Iran’s economy simply in need of hundreds of new planes to revive? This resembles a family suffering from unemployment, illness and … yet the father places all their assets behind buying chandeliers for their house! Another humiliating factor of Rouhani’s deals can be seen in the contract signed with Peugeot. Before a single car has been imported the French company is imposing conditions saying if any sanctions are placed on Iran it will not pay single dollar in compensation.

Another major index showing how Rouhani failed in his trip to France was the major 6-hour long rally and march staged by the main Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran in downtown Paris. At a time when the French capital is under high security alert, permitting such a huge demonstration on the very day Rouhani was visiting sends a very important and special message to Tehran. Paris could have easily banned any such rally sighting the security conditions after the horrific November 13th terrorist attacks. As the chants of the Iranian Diaspora were heard even in Élysée Palace, France may have been deliberately reminding Rouhani, and those in Tehran, of the reality of Paris hosting a major organized Iranian opposition movement providing a powerful alternative for Iran.

It is crystal clear that from a political perspective Rouhani made his visit to Europe to claim the isolation crippling Iran in the past several years has come to an end and the gates of world are now open. Rouhani is also seeking to gain an upper hand in the upcoming elections after hardliners disqualified 99% of those claiming to be reformists for the next general and Assembly of Experts elections.

This recent visit to Europe was another propaganda charm offensive by Rouhani. What he doesn’t understand is the fact that Iran is being placed inside a larger puzzle that when finished will define a larger picture leading to major disasters for the ruling elite in Tehran. While Rouhani may have been smiling during the entire Europe visit, the reality is France and Italy have sucked billions out of Iran’s already frail economy. The truth is Rouhani failed to provide any gains for Iran while the unrest population now has high expectations.


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