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So What Happens Next in Iran?

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It's as if for these past four decades, "Hashemi" – as he is popularly know in Iran (adversaries call him "The Shark") – was always there.

Few would be as well equipped to draw a succinct portrait of the politically chameleonic qualities of Hashemi The Shark as Prof. Syed Mohammad Marandi, dean of the Faculty of World Studies at Tehran University.

Marandi notes, "He was an extraordinary smart person, who was also a political genius. His alliances easily shifted, since he saw himself as a centrist. In the late 1980s and 1990s the leftists (later reformists) hated him and claimed that he was pro-American and a liberal capitalist who crushed the poor. At that time he was close to the conservatives (later principalists), but the leftists (later reformists) couldn't hurt him especially in the 1980s when he was very popular."

Confused? Well, that's Iran's complex/convoluted politics in a nutshell; nothing can be understood if one does not apprehend the nuances between principalists (those faithful to the radical precepts of the revolution) and reformists (some now within the current Rouhani administration, some silenced for good).

Exceptionalists don't do dialogue

Even after his own presidency, Rafsanjani remained in the spotlight. He vigorously supported suave reformist cleric Mohammad Khatami in the 1997 presidential elections. Khatami won hands down and proposed a "dialogue of civilizations" to include the US but that was predictably spurned, ruthlessly, and foolishly, by Washington.

Here's Marandi on the late 1990s:........

© Sputnik International