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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid