When it comes to religious extremism and fomenting terrorism, Iran is not in the same league as Saudi Arabia. From Muhammad Sahimi at antiwar.com:
On Friday May 19 the Iranian people elected President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate and reformist, in a landslide. 75 percent of the eligible voters cast their votes – which should be compared with 56 percent turnout in the U.S. elections in 2016 – and Rouhani received 57 percent of the total votes. And, this is in a region in which most countries that are allied with the US do not even have any elections.
Once again, Iranian people resisted the call to boycott the elections by the exiled opposition that had supported economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and its allies, as well as military threats made against it by the George W. Bush administration and by Israel. Neoconservative enemies of Iran, such as Elliot Abrams, had hoped that Iranians will elect Rouhani’s main rival, the hardline Ebrahim Raisi, with the hope that it would help lay the groundwork for attacking Iran.
Iranians also rejected Raisi’s promise of economic benefits, if he is elected. He had promised that he would triple the case subsidy that Iranians receive every month from the government, and that his administration would pay generous unemployment benefits to the people until they find jobs.
None of such promises mattered to the Iranian people. Rouhani’s main campaign slogan said it best: “We have chosen our path [to move forward]. We will not return to the past.” Iranian people fully recognized that Raisi was supported by Iran’s “deep state” – the secret and semi-secret networks of security, military and intelligence officers, backed by reactionary hardline clerics – as well as by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rouhani’s predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power by strong support of the “deep state” and Khamenei, and the Iranian people experienced firsthand the result: incredible corruption, repression, particularly after the fraudulent elections of 2009, and a confrontational foreign policy and rhetoric against Israel that took Iran to the United Nations Security Council, where six resolutions were approved against the nation.
To continue reading: As Iran Elects a Moderate, Trump Cozies up to its Terrorist Enemy Saudi Arabia