Brian Binley is the Member of Parliament for Northampton South and President of International
Parliamentary Campaign in Defence of Ashraf

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 22.38.25Many in
the western press and beyond have praised the recently-elected Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani as a moderate, suggesting he will make life better for his people and extend an olive branch to the rest of the world. So let’s look at his record.

Rouhani has been a high-ranking official of the
regime throughout the last three decades, mainly working in the realms of
intelligence and national security. Consequently, he has been involved in, and
has supported, the regime’s policies and actions, including the murderous
suppression of the opposition and the regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

He was the national security advisor to the
then president when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) blew up Khobar Towers in
Saudi Arabia and murdered 19 American servicemen in 1996. In
the medieval theocracy that is modern day Iran, anyone who even wishes to seek
high office must first be cleared by those who really run the country, namely
the Mullahs and in particular their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Hassan Rouhani was vetted and approved by Khamenei’s Guardian Council
for June's election as one who has proven his complete allegiance to the
absolute rule of the Supreme Leader both in theory and practice.
We know that he was the supervisor and defender
of the Iranian atomic energy weapons programme, and was actively engaged in
buying time to develop it whilst keeping it hidden from the prying eyes of
Western surveillance.

As the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National
Security Council (SNCSC), he was intimately familiar with the secret
construction of Iran's illicit nuclear facilities in Arak, Natanz and Shian
Lavizan in Tehran, which remained clandestine until exposed by the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in 2002. In 2003, Rouhani became Iran's lead nuclear
negotiator and he has boasted of duping the West whilst continuing the drive to obtain nuclear weapons as
expeditiously as possible.

If you are still doubtful of Rouhani’s true intentions look back only to 17 June 2013 when, according to a Wall Street Journal report, more than a dozen students were killed, a thousnad were arrested, hundreds were tortured, and 70 simply disappeared in
response to a student-run demonstration in 1999 for democracy and freedom.

Under Rouhani’s Presidency, Iran will continue to oppress its own
people, and export oppression and terrorism throughout the Middle East and the
wider world. The fact that he nominated Mostafa Pourmohammadi as Justice Minister speaks volumes. Pourmohammdi is accused by Human Rights groups of
being one of a three-man committee that ordered prisoners in Tehran's notorious
Evin jail to their summary executions in 1988. Up to 30,000 political
prisoners, mostly activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran
(PMOI / MEK) were executed, many without trial, on the orders of Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini.

Describing Rouhani as a moderate is akin to portraying Stalin as
benevolent grandfather. He represents
the Mullahs and under his regime, we will never see the change and create the
freedom Iranians demand and deserve. The West will never placate a regime that
is steadfastly opposed to change, and will use whatever methods are necessary to
maintain their own power base. But let us also be clear that continuing efforts will be made to
induce the West into believing that Iran is making a better life for its people, and will become a more benevolent and moderate member of the global community.

The West must recognise that whenever they deal with Iran they are
dealing with a regime which has for decades sanctioned the murder of tens of thousands of
people within its own boundaries and beyond. Of course they want to display a more humane
face, because international sanctions are biting and causing unrest, but behind
that mask lies the cold, calculating face of a regime totally committed to its
own continuation at almost any cost.

The West fell for the ploy of moderation before, when Jack Straw, when Home
Secretary, agreed to the Mullahs' request to place the opposition in
exile (PMOI) onto the proscribed list of terrorist organisations in the vain
hope that he could bring Iran to the negotiating table to end their pursuit of
nuclear weapons. The ban, which was later
copied by the US and EU, proved completely fruitless. and the regime
continued to operate as before. We must not fall for the same ploy again.

The West must fully understand the mentality of the Mullahs' regime, based as it is on a total belief in its own righteousness. Strength in that belief is the mainstay of
their political philosophy, and the West must be equally prepared to show
similar strength when dealing with them. It was that strength, displayed by Regan and Thatcher, which brought
down the Berlin Wall, not by military
invasion but by supporting the will of the people for a better life whilst
stretching the internal resources of the Soviet Bloc. The people of Iran deserve similar strength
in support of their own efforts for internal change. They need that strength to win and falling
for the mask of moderation will not help them.