Green Room

Iran’s new “reformist” president: cleric Hassan Rouhani

posted at 12:31 pm on June 15, 2013 by

Iran will not need a runoff to determine the winner in its presidential election, a competition between pre-approved candidates with Supreme Leader Ali Khameini’s blessings.  The winner, Hassan Rouhani, was a relative moderate who reached out to reformers in the waning days of the campaign:

Although all six candidates were seen as conservatives, analysts say Mr Rouhani – a 64-year-old cleric often described as “moderate” who has held several parliamentary posts and served as chief nuclear negotiator – has been reaching out to reformists in recent days.

The surge of support for him came after Mohammad Reza Aref, the only reformist candidate in the race, announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing on the advice of pro-reform ex-President Mohammad Khatami.

Mr Rouhani thus went into polling day with the endorsement of two ex-presidents – Mr Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was disqualified from the race by the powerful Guardian Council, a 12-member body of theologians and jurists.

We can be assured that Khameini would have approved no one who would rock the mullahcratic boat, and so therefore no one should expect much from Rouhani.  Here’s one indication of just how “reformist” Khameini will allow the new government to become:

No foreign observers monitored this year’s election and there have also been concerns that media coverage in the run-up has been unfair.

Many reformist newspapers have been shut down, access to the internet and foreign broadcasters has been restricted, and journalists have been detained.

On Thursday, the BBC accused the Iranian authorities of “unprecedented levels of intimidation” of BBC employees’ families.

It said Iran had warned the families of 15 BBC Persian Service staff that they must stop working for the BBC or their lives in London would be endangered.

In other words, it’ll be business as usual, only under a new banner.

Update: Daniel Halper takes a look at Rouhani’s resumé.

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Yeah, Obama is also a ‘moderate’

faraway on June 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

He lied about his PhD. Sound familiar?

faraway on June 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Lawful Evil Cleric with a +5 Cloak of Moderation? He’d be interesting to quest with but I wouldn’t sit down and have a beer with him.

29Victor on June 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

So, if the election was rigged, and the “moderate” won, what does that mean?

Count to 10 on June 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM

On the eve of Iranian elections, the country’s religious leader said on his Facebook page that American elections are controlled by the “Zionist regime.”

“U.S. president is being elected only from two parties while Zionist regime is controlling everything behind the scenes,” said a cartoon posted Thursday on the English language Facebook page of Ayatollah Ali Khameini [sic], the country’s supreme leader.

The graphic depicts the star of David logo of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee over an arrow pointing at three fat oligarchs with money bags for heads, hovering over a line of voters.

Iranian presidents, by contrast, the cartoon said, come from “ordinary people” and some are not affiliated with parties. In another graphic, an arrow ascends from a line of voters to a single presidential candidate.

nazo311 on June 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Allah Akbar.

petefrt on June 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM

The Persian version of The Religion of Pieces, er “peace” is making America’s Emperor Øligula look like a clueless piker. And of course Iran will continue to make a fool of him, and us by extension.
Wake Up, America. Iran is arming Syrian terrorists so is Obama. Got it YET?

Karl Magnus on June 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I imagine a lot of low info politicians will be excited at the moderate they have all been looking for. Muslim nuance from the man really in charge.

[email protected] on June 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Who cares who the Iranian President is? He has no say whatsoever on the nuclear issue, nor Syria / IRGC / Hezbollah / other terrorist proxies funding and training.

His mandate is to handle the economy and to be Chief Spokesman to Ali Khamenei’s regime to the world.

He is a softer, gentler, kinder, less d1sgusting figure than Ahmadinejad so the Islamic Republic’s image will take on a more moderate face.

So: same guy in Iran deciding on the nuclear issue, but a new and better communications director / advocate. This will make it harder for the west to achieve its goals of making Iran abandon its nuclear program.

AlexB on June 16, 2013 at 10:33 PM