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Meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani with a vision of modern Iran

Rouhani is the seventh President of Iran, who has been in the post since August 2013, has been an influential figure in Iran even before he became the country's President.

February 15, 2018 / 03:35 PM IST
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be arriving in India for a three-day visit to discuss regional and international issues of "mutual interest".

Rouhani, who has been a key player in Iran's political life since the revolution in 1979, has promised a modern and outward looking Iran in his election campaign for a second term. His view was in sharp contrast to the vision his main rival Ebrahim Raisi.

Rouhani is the seventh President of Iran, who has been in the post since August 2013, has been an influential figure in Iran even before he became the country's President. He was a part of Iran's defence establishment during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and subsequently held several important political posts.

Also read — Iran President Hassan Rouhani seeks Indian investment amid US pressure

President Rouhani was a scretarty at the top decision-making body in Iran, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), from 1989 to 2005. Among other government bodies, the 69-year-old became a member of the Expediency Council, the highest arbitration body on issues of legislation  in 1997.


The Iranian president, who simultaneously completed a thesis on Sharia - Islamic law - as a post-graduate student at Glasgow Caledonian University, aims to steer the country away from the extremist ideas of the hardliners and extend individual and political freedoms to people.

With a modern vision for Iran, Rouhani is reported to work towards ensuring equality of men and women, extend access to internet to individuals and take steps to make Iran a modern and an outward-looking country.

Also read — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to arrive in Hyderabad today on 3-day India visit

Hassan Rouhani has been the nuclear negotiator, who criticized international sanctions against Iran but emphasized his country’s willingness to seek compromise over the Iranian nuclear program. This led to a historic telephone call with the then US President Barack Obama in late September 2013, the first direct conversation between a US and an Iranian leader since 1979.

On Rouhani’s pledge to restart international dialogue regarding Iran’s nuclear activities, an interim agreement easing sanctions on Iran was reached by November and a variety of restrictions were placed on the country's nuclear program. In January 2016, UN inspectors certified that Iran had made satisfactory progress toward achieving its objectives under the nuclear agreement.

Early life

Rouhani was born as Hassan Feridon on November 12, 1948, in Sorkheh, Iran, where he was exposed to political issues at an early age. After studying religion as a youth, Hassan eventually adopted the surname Rouhani, which means "community of clerics."

Rouhani sought his law degree from the University of Tehran and earned a master's degree and Ph.D. from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland in the 1990s. During his undergraduate days, Rouhani traveled throughout Iran to express his opposition to Shaw and his support for the exiled cleric Ruhollah Khomeini.

In 1977, Rouhani was forced out of the country after that he joined Khomeini in Paris and addressed students across Europe. He returned to Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution to help Khomeini rebuild the government.
first published: Feb 15, 2018 03:01 pm

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