Jun. 15, 2013 (TSR) – Hassan Rouhani wins 11th round of Iran’s presidential election with voters’ strong support.
The 64-year-old cleric is considered a relative moderate, and is best known abroad for his role as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. But he has a long resume of accomplishments as an academic, military commander, longtime parliament deputy, and holder of various high-ranking government posts.
As the final vote counting showed on Friday, Mr Rouhani was elected to replace incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by collecting 18,613,329 votes from a total of 36,704,156.
72.2% of the 50 million eligible Iranians took part in the election marking a massive turnout, Interior minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told a news conference on Saturday.
The final results for other candidates are:
Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf: 6,077,292 votes
Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeid Jalili: 4,168,946 votes
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei: 3,884,412 votes
Former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati: 2,268,753 votes
Former telecommunications minister Mohammad Gharazi: 446,015 votes
In a message issued on Saturday, the Leader noted that the great nation of Iran is the real winner of the election, adding that the vote nullified plots of all ill-wishers.
Ayatollah Khamenei also stressed that the president-elect is president of the Iranian nation, noting that cooperation and friendship must replace rivalry of these days.
Compromising Nuclear Negotiator
In 2003, Rouhani became Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and held the post until the man he now replaces, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, was elected president in 2005. The course of nuclear negotiations adopted under Ahmadinejad and the current top negotiator, presidential candidate Said Jalili, was a source of heated exchanges during the presidential debates.
Rouhani was openly critical of Jalili for taking an uncompromising approach to the West that has led to international sanctions against Iran. While Rohani served as nuclear negotiator, he once offered in negotiations with European diplomats to maintain the suspension of uranium enrichment and expressed readiness to stop manufacturing centrifuge equipment as a sign of goodwill and to prepare the ground for greater cooperation. The move was seen by his critics at home as a retreat.
Most recently Rouhani has represented Tehran Province in the Assembly of Experts, which oversees the performance of the supreme leader.
Unlocking Solutions For Iran
Rohani adopted the key as his campaign symbol — in what he called “a direct reference to the fact that the situation is locked” — and often referred to his “Government of Deliberation and Hope.”
He has called for improved foreign relations, and has pointed to Iran’s immense material and physical resources as a way out of its economic crisis, which he blames on “individual decision-making, without consultation.” Remedies, he says, can be found in tourism and greater involvement of the private sector in manufacturing.
Rouhani has also supported greater freedom of expression and has pledged to free political prisoners.
The main achievements of his career, as noted by Rohani during his final televised campaign address, include Iran’s “active impartiality” during the Gulf War, a “security pact with Saudi Arabia under President Khatami, and Iran’s “reasonable position” following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Hasan Rouhani Biography
He has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Expediency Council since 1991, member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.
Mr Rouhani has been also deputy speaker of the 4th and 5th terms of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. In this capacity, he was also heading Iran’s former nuclear negotiating team and was the country’s top negotiator with the EU-3 – UK, France, and Germany – on the Iran’s nuclear program.
As a young cleric Hassan Mr Rouhani started his political activities by following Imam Khomeini during the beginning of the Iranian Islamic movement.
Since he was prosecuted by the SAVAK, Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti and Ayatollah Motahhari advised him to leave the country. Once outside Iran he made public speeches to Iranian students studying abroad and joined Khomeini upon arriving in Paris.
Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hassan Mr Rouhani, who had been engaged in revolutionary struggles for about two decades, did his best to stabilize the nascent Islamic Revolution and as a first step, he started with organizing the disorderly Iranian army and military bases.
He was elected to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) in 1980. During five terms in the Majlis and for a total period of 20 years (from 1980 to 2000), he served in various capacities including deputy speaker of the Majlis (in 4th and 5th terms), as well as the head of defense committee (1st and 2nd terms), and foreign policy committee (4th and 5th terms).
Heading Supervisory Council of the IRIB from 1980 to 1983 was among the responsibilities he shouldered in the post-revolution era.
During the Iran-Iraq war, Mr Rohani was a member of the Supreme Defense Council (1982-1988), member of the High Council for Supporting War and headed its Executive Committee (1986-1988), deputy commander of the war (1983-1985), commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbiya Operation Center (1985-1988), and commander of the Iran Air Defense Force (1986-1991). He was appointed as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces between1988 to1989.
After the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was amended and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) came into being up to the present time, he has been representative of the Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, at the council.
Mr Rouhani was the first secretary of the SNSC and kept it for 16 years (from 1989 to 2005). He was also national security advisor – to President Hashemi and President Khatami – for 13 years (from 1989 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2005).
In 1991, Mr Rouhani was appointed to the Expediency Council and has kept that post up to the present time. He heads Political, Defense, and Security Committee of the Expediency Council.
In addition to executive posts, Hassan Mr Rouhani has kept up his scientific activities. From 1995 to 1999, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Tehran Universities and North Region.
Mr Rouhani has been running the Center for Strategic Research since 1991. Having the rank of research professor, he has written many books and articles in Persian, English and Arabic. He is the managing editor of three scientific and research quarterlies in Persian and English, which include Rahbord (Strategy), Foreign Relations, and Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs.
Hassan Mr Rouhani was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for 16 years. His career at the Council began under President Hashemi Rafsanjani and continued under his successor, President Khatami.
Mr Rouhani and his team, whose members had been introduced by Velayati and Kharrazi as the best diplomats in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, based their efforts on dialogue and confidence building due to political and security conditions as well as strong propaganda against Iran.
As a first step, they prevented further escalation of accusations against Iran in order to prevent reporting Iran’s nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council. Therefore, and for the purpose of confidence building, certain parts of Iran’s nuclear activities were voluntarily suspended at several junctures.
In addition to building confidence, insisting on Iran’s rights, reducing international pressures and preventing Iran’s case from being reported to the UN Security Council, Iran succeeded in completing its nuclear fuel cycle and took groundbreaking steps.
Following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, Mr Rouhani resigned his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after 16 years on August 15, 2005, and was succeeded by Ali Larijani as the new secretary who also took charge of Iran’s nuclear case.
Larijani, likewise, resigned his post on October 20, 2007, to be replaced by Saeed Jalili.
Although Hassan Rouhani had already appeared as a diplomat and taken part in many meetings and negotiations with foreign officials as Majlis deputy speaker or the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, it was his leading role in the nuclear negotiations which brought him the nickname of “diplomat Sheikh.”
This nickname was first given to him by the nascent Sharq newspaper in November 2003 and was frequently repeated after that by domestic and foreign Persian-speaking media. Mr Rohani has been the sole clerical member of Iran’s nuclear team up to the present time.
Based on reports from RFE/RL, Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sharq Online, IRNA, Alalam