Hassan Rouhani

Iranian politician and president

Hassan Rouhani (born 13 November 1948) is an Iranian Islamist politician who served as the seventh president of Iran from 2013 to 2021. He is also a sharia lawyer ("Wakil"), academic, former diplomat and Islamic cleric. He has been a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts since 1999. He was a member of the Expediency Council from 1991 to 2021, and also was a member of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2021. Rouhani was deputy speaker of the fourth and fifth terms of the Parliament of Iran (Majlis) and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. In the latter capacity, he was the country's top negotiator with the EU three, UK, France, and Germany, on nuclear technology in Iran, and has also served as a Shia mujtahid (a senior cleric), and economic trade negotiator.

The relationship between Iran and the United States is a complicated and difficult question. There is a chronic wound, which is difficult to heal. However, it is not impossible provided there is goodwill and mutual respect between the two countries.

Quotes edit

  • Generally speaking, America is not keen on independent countries. America is not keen on people's freedom. America is keen on countries that completely surrender themselves and act according to America's demands.
  • Saying 'Death to America' is easy. We need to express 'Death to America' with action. Saying it is easy.
  • Syria has constantly been on the front line of fighting Zionism and this resistance must not be weakened.
  • The Syrian crisis must be resolved by a vote by Syrians. We are concerned by the civil war and foreign interference. The government [of President Bashar al-Assad] must be respected by other countries until the next [2014 presidential] elections and then it is up to the people to decide.
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran aims to strengthen its relations with Syria and will stand by it in facing all challenges. The deep, strategic and historic relations between the people of Syria and Iran... will not be shaken by any force in the world.

2004 speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council edit

As quoted in his 2004 speech entitled "Beyond the Challenges Facing Iran and the IAEA Concerning the Nuclear Dossier," given to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council while he was serving as chief nuclear negotiator

  • We only agreed to suspend activities in those areas where we did not have technical problems. This is what they are saying now in their negotiations. We completed the Isfahan project, which is the UCF where yellowcake is converted into UF4 and UF6 during suspension. While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan, but we still had a long way to go to complete the project. In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan. Today, we can convert yellowcake into UF4 and UF6, and this is a very important matter. In fact, UF6 is what the centrifuges feed on; it is the feed material for centrifuges. Therefore, it was important for us to conclude that process.
    • Touting Iran's nuclear progress during Iran's temporary suspension of enrichment activities
  • If one day we are able to complete the fuel cycle and the world sees that it has no choice, that we do possess the technology, then the situation will be different. The world did not want Pakistan to have an atomic bomb or Brazil to have the fuel cycle, but Pakistan built its bomb and Brazil has its fuel cycle, and the world started to work with them. Our problem is that we have not achieved either one, but we are standing at the threshold.
    • Discussing how Iran could one day present the world with a nuclear fait accompli, like Pakistan and Brazil did
  • I think we should not be in a great rush to deal with this issue. We should be patient and find the most suitable time to do away with the suspension. If we decide to start enrichment in the face of opposition by the West, we must find the best time and the most favorable conditions, and if we decide to work with the West, we must utilize all our capabilities and everything that is in our power to achieve our objectives. We should not rush into this. We must move very carefully, in a very calculated manner.
    • Discussing Iran's strategy for advancing its nuclear program against the opposition of the international community
  • One of the members indicated here that all this should have been done in secret. This was the intention; this never was supposed to be in the open. But in any case, the spies exposed it. We did not want to declare all this.
    • In response to a question from an audience member

Presidential campaign, 2013 edit

As quoted in Iran election: Hassan Rouhani in his own words, BBC News: Middle East, (15 June, 2013)

  • What I truly wish is for moderation to return to the country. This is my only wish. Extremism pains me greatly. We have suffered many blows as a result of extremism.
  • Social woes have been on the rise over the past years. I do believe that the only way to resolve these problems is decentralisation. Our problems will not be resolved as long as only the government is in charge of our cultural affairs.
  • You should know the nuclear issue and the sanctions will also be resolved, and economic prosperity will also be created.
  • I said it is good for centrifuges to operate, but it is also important that the country operates as well and the wheels of industry are turning.
  • Iran has nothing to hide. However, in order to proceed towards settling the Iranian nuclear file, we need to reach national consensus and rapprochement and understanding on an international level. This can only happen through dialogue.
  • The relationship between Iran and the United States is a complicated and difficult question. There is a chronic wound, which is difficult to heal. However, it is not impossible provided there is goodwill and mutual respect between the two countries.
  • It seems that extremists on both sides are determined to maintain the state of hostility and hatred between the two states, but logic says that there should be a change of direction in order to turn a new page in this unstable relationship and minimise the state of hostility and mistrust between the two countries.
  • In my opinion, in order to reach a just solution [in Syria] that is accepted by all parties, Iran can play the role of mediator between the Syrian government and the opposition that is working hard to achieve democracy and good governance.

Quotes about edit

  • In 2012, almost ten years after the US invasion of Iraq, two years into the Arab uprisings, Ahmadinejad’s second term as president was coming to an end and Iran was feeling secure about its regional gains. But Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards were increasingly worried about the sanctions that were squeezing Iran’s economy—not only because they feared popular protests but because there was less revenue for them to siphon off. Khamenei decided to test the promise Obama had made on his first day in office to offer an “unclenched fist” if Iran extended its hand. Secret, direct negotiations between Iranian and American officials began in 2012 in Oman to explore lifting the sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran freezing its nuclear program. To help seal that much-needed deal, the Supreme Leader was ready to present a gentler face of Iran to the world. He watched as Hassan Rouhani was elected president in June 2013—another cleric from deep within the system, a centrist with a reputation for running the clock in negotiations with the West, letting talks drag on to maintain the impression of moderation and engagement but without making concessions. Rouhani promised hope and diplomacy and Iran’s youth were ecstatic. They honked their horns as they drove around cities across the country. The pace of backchannel negotiations picked up and the talks soon became public.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)

External links edit

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