Thursday, April 25, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Profile: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

President of Iran comes from clerical background, and has served the government in several capacities in the past.

Hassan Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani won a second term on Saturday, four years after first taking office on the back of a pledge to reduce the country's international isolation.

His resounding victory came after a hard-fought election campaign where he promised to increase Iran's engagement with the world and improve civil rights domestically.

Rouhani was born in 1948 in Sorkheh, northern Iran, into a family that opposed the former Shah of Iran, and has held various roles in government since the Islamic Revolution. Before winning the 2013 presidential elections, he was a member of the Supreme National Security Council, a position he held since 1989.

He began studying religion at an early age. In the 1960s, he went to religious seminaries and began attending classes taught by prominent Shia scholars. In 1969, he attended the University of Tehran and received his bachelor's degree in judicial law three years later.

In addition to religious studies, he was interested in learning modern sciences, going on to receive a master's degree in public law along with a doctorate at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

He began his political career in the 1960s by following the exiled leader of the Islamic movement, Ayatollah Khomeini. Rouhani continued to be outspoken against the Shah up until 1977, when he was forced to flee Iran after publicly declaring Khomeini an "imam".

After the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Rouhani returned to Iran to help stabilise the fledgling Islamic Republic.

Since the government takeover of the Islamic Revolution, Rouhani has held multiple positions, including Secretary and Representative of the Supreme National Security Council, member of the Assembly of Experts, member of the Expediency Discernment Council, President of the Center for Strategic Research, and multiple roles in Parliament.

After the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August 2005, Rouhani, an outspoken critic of the former president, resigned from his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after having held the job for 16 years. Rouhani also served as Iran's top nuclear negotiator from October 2003 up until his resignation from the SNSC.

Rouhani earned the nickname "the diplomat sheikh" because of his clerical background and leading role in nuclear negotiations. And he made diplomacy a theme of his first address as president back in 2013.

"The only way for interaction with Iran is dialogue on an equal footing, confidence-building and mutual respect as well as reducing antagonism and aggression," Rouhani told parliament after taking his oath of office.

"If you want the right response, don't speak with Iran in the language of sanctions, speak in the language of respect," he said.

During his first term, Iran reached a landmark deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

Addressing the Iranian nation after the announcement of the agreement, which ended many sanctions, Rouhani said: "We didn't ask for charity. We asked for fair, just and win-win negotiations."

He said that "a new chapter has started" and said the government could now focus on other issues of the country.

But despite managing to bring runaway inflation down, Rouhani faced intense criticism during the election period over his economic record, with rivals saying his diplomatic efforts had done little to tackle high unemployment and persistent poverty.

The slow pace of change has left many in the country frustrated, increasing pressure on the re-elected president to deliver on his campaign promises.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Israeli air raids kill five Palesti...

Read More

Fierce fighting 'eases' in Hodeidah...

Read More

Saudis discussed killing enemies a ...

Read More

Khashoggi killing: Demand for justi...

Read More

Israel kills seven Palestinians in ...

Read More

UK calls for end to Yemen war, Khas...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid