Wasn't Khatami the more "moderate" candidate Washington hoped would win (again) the last election?
There are quite a few differences between a "moderate" Mullah like Khatami and a "hardliner" like Ahmadinejad.
One key difference is: The smiling, pseudo intellectual "moderate" talks about "dialogue of civilizations' and would apologize for having you maimed or cutting off your head. The "hardliner" would say 'you got a problem with it? Too bad, get used to it'.
Khatami had already been President 2 terms and wasn't a candidate in the last election.
As for being 'moderate', more newspapers were closed, more journalists arrested, more students arrested, beaten and killed for protesting, ......He's also a big supporter of hezbollah's leader, Nasrallah.
Here are 2 statements from Khatami. You decide which time he's telling the truth .........
"The bullying attitude of America is cause for a dual disaster. Around the globe, American people have the shallowest of cultures. [They are] a bunch of bullying, knife-toting adventurers. The worst of Europe came together and went there [to the US] to find money. It is a culture without roots and based on the technology of force... Now, as a nation without the least culture, the Americans have most of the world's resources at their disposal. This represents a dual catastrophe for humanity."
Ettela'at, July 7, 1991
"I have said earlier that I respect the great American people When we appreciate the roots of this civilization, its significance becomes even more apparent I say I respect the American nation because of their great civilization "
Interview with CNN, January 1998
"Wasn't Khatami the more "moderate" candidate Washington hoped would win (again) the last election?"
No, that was Hashemi Rafsanjani.