Friday, August 15, 2014

A00039 - Hassan Rouhani, Seventh President of Iran

Rouhani, Hassan
Hassan Rouhani (Persian:  حسن روحانی‎), born November 12, 1948, became the 7th President of Iran in 2013. He is also a former lawmaker, academic and diplomat. Beginning in 1999, Rouhani became a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts.  He was also a member of the Expediency Council since 1991, a member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.

Rouhani was deputy speaker of the 4th and 5th terms of the Parliament of Iran (Majlis) and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. In the latter capacity, Rouhani was the country's top negotiator with the EU three,  the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, on nuclear technology in Iran, and has also served as a Shi'ite ijtihadi cleric, and economic trade negotiator. He expressed official support for upholding the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. In 2013, he appointed former miner and Isfahani legislator Eshaq Jahangiri as his vice-president.

On May 7, 2013, Rouhani registered for the presidential election that was held on June 14, 2013. He said that, if elected, he would prepare a "civil rights charter", restore the economy and improve rocky relations with Western nations.  Rouhani was viewed as politically moderate. As early vote counts began coming in, he took a large lead. He was elected as President of Iran on June 15, defeating Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and four other candidates. He took office on August 3, 2013. In 2013, TIME magazine named him 9th of the Most Influential People in the World.  In domestic policy, he encouraged personal freedom and free access to information, improved women's rights by appointing female foreign ministry spokespersons, and was described as a centrist and reformist who improved Iran's diplomatic relations with other countries through exchanging conciliatory letters.

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