News / Middle East

President-Elect Rowhani: A Moderate Voice for Iran

Iranian presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, waves, from his bus, during his campaign tour to the western city of Sanandaj, Iran, June 10, 2013.
Iranian presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, waves, from his bus, during his campaign tour to the western city of Sanandaj, Iran, June 10, 2013.
VOA News
Iran's next president, Hassan Rowhani, is a moderate cleric and former chief nuclear negotiator who has vowed to improve the nation's relationship with the international community.

Rowhani headed Iran's nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005, under reformist president Mohammad Khatami. During that time, Rowhani oversaw a moratorium on uranium enrichment, which eased Western pressure over Iran's nuclear program -- kept secret until 2002.

In contrast to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the 64-year-old Rowhani has promised a less confrontational approach to world affairs, including talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program. Though he has said there will be "no surrender" to Western demands, he has vowed to pursue "constructive interaction with the world," including the lifting of international sanctions that have hammered the Iranian economy.

The only cleric of the six candidates in Friday's presidential election, Rowhani won the votes of reformists and moderates alike. He was helped in part by the earlier withdrawal of the only other moderate in the race -- Khatami's reformist first vice president, Mohammad Reza Aref.

Endorsements by Khatami and his moderate predecessor and Ahmadinejad rival, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, also boosted Rowhani's candidacy. Their support and his promotion of policies such as more rights for women made him a favorite among those seeking change in the country.

Rowhani also maintains a close relationship with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all major policy decisions.

Born in 1948 in the Iranian city of Sorkheh, Rowhani received his doctorate in law from Scotland's Glasgow Caledonian University.

Having begun religious studies as a teenager, he was a dedicated supporter of the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, even before the 1979 revolution.

He served in the Iranian government for decades after that -- as a member of parliament from 1980 to 2000 and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. Since 1999, he has been a member of the Assembly of Experts -- a council of clerics that selects the supreme leader. Upon his election as president, he was also serving on the Expediency Discernment Council, an advisory body for the supreme leader, and headed its Center for Strategic Research.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid