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Charm Offensive

Charm Offensive

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Iranian president Hassan Rouhani portrays himself as a moderate leader wiling to normalize relations with the west. But in a recent military parade in Tehran, Rouhani reiterated the same tropes we've heard from Iranian leaders for years. This article analyzes the rhetoric from this military campaign to show that despite his outward charm, Rouhani doesn't differ much from his predecessors.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani portrays himself as a moderate leader wiling to normalize relations with the west. But in a recent military parade in Tehran, Rouhani reiterated the same tropes we've heard from Iranian leaders for years. This article analyzes the rhetoric from this military campaign to show that despite his outward charm, Rouhani doesn't differ much from his predecessors.

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Published by: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Apr 01, 2014
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04/01/2014

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Charm Offensive? Hostile Iranian
Messages on the Eve of Rouhani’s UN
Visit
 
The Jerusalem Center, September 24, 2013
Vol. 13, No. 26 24 September 2013
 With Iranian President Rouhani speaking at the UN in New York, it is useful to see the messages coming out of Tehran from an annual military parade held on Sept. 22, 2013. Significantly, Rouhani attended the parade, reviewed the forces and spoke as well. He was accompanied by the heads of the Iranian armed forces. Seated to his right was Iranian Chief of Staff, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, and to his left was the Commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad-Ali Jafari (see photo). Here is a display of Iranian messages that were featured during the Tehran military parade. While in English the Iranians wrote “Down with America,” in Persian and Arabic, the Iranians wrote, “Death to America.”
 
 The parade included a line of missile transports carrying Shahab-3 missiles, which have a 1,300-kilometer range that can reach both Israel and American bases in the Persian Gulf. The lead vehicle has a poster in the front which says: “America Is Not as Powerful as It Claims to Be.” Thus, on the eve of his visit to the UN, Rouhani took part in a major national event which contradicted the themes he has been stressing during his charm offensive in New York.

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