Iran Presidential Elections: Profile of New Iranian President Hasan Rowhani

Hasan Rowhani is an Iranian politician who was born in 1948 in Sorkheh during the days of the Shah of Iran.

As a child not only did Rowhani achieve mastery in Islamic studies but he also expressed great interest in modern western education. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Judicial Law from the University of Tehran and then went to the West for pursuing further education.

Hasan Rowhani has sealed his victory in the Iranian Presidential Elections by grabbing more than 50% of the total votes polled. (Reuters)

Hasan Rowhani has sealed his victory in the Iranian Presidential Elections by grabbing more than 50% of the total votes polled. (Reuters)

Rowhani’s political career began during the days of the Islamic Revoution in Iran. He was deeply influenced by Ruholla Khomeini’s ideas and thoughts. Taking a cue from him, Rowhani travelled across Iran giving fiery speeches against the Shah. This defiant attitude of his led to him being arrested several times.

After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Rowhani became engaged in further strengthening the nation. He was elected to the Islamic Consultative Assembly in 1980 and went on to serve five terms in varying capacities for the Assembly.

Rowhani served as the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran for 16 years. A post he resigned from after the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s President. He was also Tehran’s nuclear negotiator for some time. He held negotiations with three member states of EU regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

The biggest challenge before new Iranian Preisdent Hasan Rowhani would be to win over the West by means of his image of a moderate and reformist cleric. The country of Iran has been crippled financially due to the economic sanctions imposed on it by the Western powers because of its controversial nuclear program. Centrist Rowhani needs to make use of his past experience as Iran’s nuclear negotiator to bring about an end to the impasse surrounding this issue by consulting and deliberating upon the same with the UN Security Council and IAEA. Internally, Rowhani would have to resist opposition from the Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s Supreme Leader and hardline cleric Ayatollah Ali Khameini. (AFP)

The biggest challenge before new Iranian President Hasan Rowhani would be to win over the West by means of his image of a moderate and reformist cleric. The country of Iran has been crippled financially due to the economic sanctions imposed on it by the Western powers because of its controversial nuclear program. Centrist Rowhani needs to make use of his past experience as Iran’s nuclear negotiator to bring about an end to the impasse surrounding this issue by consulting and deliberating upon the same with the UN Security Council and IAEA. Internally, Rowhani would have to resist opposition from the Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s Supreme Leader and hardline cleric Ayatollah Ali Khameini. (AFP)

Hasan Rowhani launched his Presidential campaign in March 2013. He was backed by reformists and liberals because of his record as a centrist cleric. Early election results on June 15th showed that Rowhani had garnered a solid lead in the Presidential elections and looked set to become Ahmadinejad’s successor. Later in the day, Iranian Press TV declared that Rowhani had won the Presidential elections.

Note: This article was originally written by the author for The Indian Express

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