FUTURE OF IRAN
Ahmadinejad Pushing Mashaei
Him As President
HE next president of the Islamic
Republic of Iran won’t be known until after elections in June.
Nevertheless Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reportedly backing his
current deputy president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, to succeed
him in the top job.
Mashaei is the
father-in-law of Ahmadinejad’s son. If he indeed wins the
elections, it may very well be a turning point in attitude for
the governing circle. Judging from his speech I observed five
years ago, we may possibly expect to see less rancor and more
harmony in their foreign relations.
Besides serving as vice
president, Mashaei heads the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts
and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) which sponsored Iran’s First
International Tour Operators Convention in November 2008 in
Tehran. Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews, based
in Hawaii, arranged for me to be invited to cover this momentous
mentor, set the theme at the Tehran Convention Center where he
described the Iranian revolution as "a cultural revolution of
In promoting tourism,
Mashaei said, "our aim is to help people of the world know each
other…If human beings get the chance to develop love and
friendship, all of us would be proud of our existence, and we’ll
experience ecstasy and pleasure. Our lives would be much richer
Mashaei insisted that
ignorance breeds hatred, war and poverty. But Iran pursues
"peace, friendship, dialogue, interaction and the exchange of
opinions. This is what sets human beings apart from animals.
Fighting has no human logic."
Redefining tourism, he
said it is related to security, more important than culture.
"Tourism is very important for global security. We consider
development of tourism a strategic matter."
So there you have it. If
his words matter at all, Mashaei’s policy as president of the
Islamic Republic of Iran may very well consist of an assault on
darkness and ignorance, an expansion of knowledge and
friendship, and the pursuit of international cooperation.
There is only one way for
familiarity and friendship and that is the development of
knowledge toward each other. "We become friends when we shed the
light on each other."
He added, "Iran is ready
to serve, to help love and friendship materialize. We are ready
to sacrifice ourselves for that noble goal."
Will Mashaei follow
through on his own words if he follows Ahmadinejad in the
president’s office? It would be a veritable revolution and
radical turnabout in the foreign relations of this Islamic
Have we been witnessing a
"bad cop/good cop" scenario out of Tehran
with a "good cop"
era about to launch? Stay tuned.