Critics of Iran insist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks for the Iranian government and people and frequently cite his comments such as attacks promising to wipe out Israel as proof Iran is threatening the security of the Israeli people. A top Iranian cleric on Wednesday criticized Iran President Ahgmadinejad for his ongoing “coarse” verbal assaults against Israel. Hassan Rowhani, a former top nuclear negotiator who still holds influential posts in the Iranian power structure, complained: “Does foreign policy mean expressing coarse slogans and grandstanding?” Rowhani said Iran “needs an accomodating way to decrease threats and assure the interests of the country. If the international community thinks that a country wants to play troublemaker and eliminate others, it will not let the country do this and will confront it.”
There is most probably increasing concern within the clerical group that actually runs Iran over the eratic behavior of Ahmadinejad. This suggests the possibility exists for an accomodation with Iran’s leaders. A first step might be a cease fire on the part of the United States and Israel over their threats to Iran. Perhaps, behind the scene contacts with Iranian leaders could be a first step in moving forward on the path toward peaceful relations with that nation. If Iran can become a partner in peace, Israel will benefit by removing the main supplier of weapons to Hizbullah and Hamas.