|Iranian President Hassan Rouhani|
Sohrab Ahmari: "I think the [Iranian] ruling establishment on the whole realizes that the nuclear program, and the closer they get to the bomb, is the way to insure their survival in a society that otherwise they'll have a lot of trouble controlling."
Ahmari continued: "So and you can look at Rouhani's history―I heard the word "moderate" thrown around―and I think it's really, really bad term and it's really not giving the Iranian people a lot of credit if you say that this guy is a 'moderate' when―and I'm gonna just go to the domestic front for two seconds―this is a guy who, when the 1999 student uprising happened, he said, 'We need to crush the students,' I quote, 'mercilessly and monumentally,' and in fact they did. And I had a piece in the Wall Street Journal on Monday describing what happened in the aftermath of Mr. Rouhani's speech. So I don't think people change. I don't think politicians fundamentally―in their world view―change."
On the Line: Iran's President and the World
The YouTube video was published on June 28, 2013. The guests also included Iran experts Trita Parsi, President, National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and Setareh Derakhshesh, Deputy Director, Persian News Network, Voice of America.
Find Sohrab Ahmari on Twitter at @SohrabAhmari.