News / Middle East

Iran's President-Elect Rowhani Promises 'New Era'

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani speaks with the media during a news conference in Tehran, June 17, 2013.
Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani speaks with the media during a news conference in Tehran, June 17, 2013.
VOA News
Iran's newly elected president is promising to follow a path of moderation, saying his victory signals a new era for the Iranian people.

Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani spoke during a televised news conference Monday, his first since his surprise win in Friday's presidential election.

Rowhani said he would "follow the path of moderation and justice, not extremism.''  He also promised to revive what he called constructive interaction with the rest of the world and to help fix Iran's faltering economy.

"There is an opportunity now, thanks to the active participation and support of the [Iranian] people: their participation [in the election] and their votes has created an opportunity. I hope that all countries take advantage of this opportunity, because this opportunity is beneficial from the point of view of mutual national interests. If one looks at the world today, we see tensions and stresses in the economic and political arenas across the world as well as in the [Middle East] region. Therefore relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and its new government will not only be beneficial for the Iranian nation, but also for the countries in the region and the wider world.''

Hassan Rowhani

  • 64 years old
  • Elected president with slightly more than 50% of the vote
  • Member of the Expediency Discernment Council
  • Served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989-2005
  • Member of parliament from 1980-2000
  • Member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999
  • Served as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator before Saeed Jalili
When asked about relations with the United States, Rowhani said the issue is complicated, calling it "an old wound that needs to be healed."

The United States and Western allies suspect Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons and have helped to implement several rounds of sanctions against Iran, which have battered the country's economy.  Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

"We will look at taking two specifics to allow us to remove and resolve the issue of sanctions [against Iran]," Rowhani said. "The first is to take the path towards increased transparency [over Iran's nuclear program]. Of course our nuclear programs are totally transparent in nature. But we are ready to show more transparency and to show the world that Iran's nuclear work complies fully with the international framework. Secondly, we will promote the growth of mutual trust between Iran and other nations. Wherever this mutual trust is under threat, we will make efforts to strengthen this mutual trust. In my view, the way to end the sanctions regime [against Iran] is through mutual trust and greater transparency within the framework of international rules and regulations.''

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton Monday said she was committed to working with Iran's newly elected president to find a diplomatic solution.

During the news conference, Rowhani was also asked about the conflict in Syria.  He warned against foreign intervention, saying the crisis must be resolved by the Syrian people

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 18, 2013 12:45 PM
We are not living in the Middle Ages to have a priest or a clergy as president , to rule on our nation. we are living in the 21th Century ! we have already experienced all of them , either fundamentalists or reformists.... We need a change !

by: human
June 17, 2013 3:20 PM
in iran syed Alli Khamenei is the highrest person who can say exactly about relationship with other countries.

by: David from: Sychelles
June 17, 2013 3:05 PM
There would definitely be remarkable changes in interior affairs. Ahmadinejad was a hardliner who wanted to solve issues by bullying not by logical measures. Many competent university professors were fired during his tenure because he couldn't tolerate his critics. Rowhani is much more wiser and very seasoned and logical. Although there are things he won't be able to change because of supreme Leader's Authority. As someone who has been to Iran and familiar with their culture I'm sure the majority of Iranians do want freedom, but not all kinds of American freedom such as gay and lesbian marriage. It's disgusting for them

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
June 17, 2013 1:36 PM
Not likely that any changes will occur, because the president is a tool of the supreme council headed by ayat.. Khameni. On the contrary, all are committed to their programs, as expressed during the election. The fact that they are fully acknowledging that they are involved in Syria, and sending additional forces, just shows the contempt they have for the West's deterrent....

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 17, 2013 10:51 AM
Think it's about the use of words and language of communication, not much change expected. After all the Rowhani is a candidate of the Khamenei who calls all the shots. Until he spoke up, new era for Iran seemed to mean to drop the nuclear ambition, but after he spoke, the real meaning showed that it was only a change of approach and the countenance during discussion. Wao, doesn't yet seem the uhuru.

Let's see if he will be something else when the game begins. Anything short of stopping the blind diplomacy in the Middle East; anything short of revamping diplomacy with the West and civilized society; anything linkage to state support of terrorism; anything that makes Iran seek dominance in the Arab world; Iran should weigh its stand on these issues and turn a new leaf. Otherwise it remains new wine in old wineskin. Who really is in charge of the interior ministry that imprisoned people without charge? Iranians want to be free like Americans, will the new era assure the ordinary citizen in Iran of that?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs