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Iran's 2017 Presidential Election Candidates: Hassan Rouhani

By INU Staff 

INU - The incumbent candidate in Iran’s 2017 presidential election is Hassan Rouhani. Born in 1948 near the Semnan, east of Tehran, he began his religious studies in 1960 and moved to Qom, the hub of all Iranian regime conservative mullahs. He entered Tehran University in 1969 and continued his studies at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

While claiming to be a moderate, Rouhani enjoyed very close relations with Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini in Paris even prior to Iran’s 1979 revolution. 

Rouhani (first row, second from left) praying with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his followers in Neauphle-le-Château, France, 1978.

Rouhani has also been described as “relic” of the early days of the Iranian regime. He held numerous positions, including Secretary and Representative of the Supreme National Security Council, member of both the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council, and different posts in the Majlis (parliament).

“Rouhani has expressed support for blatant violations of international law over the past thirty years, including the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa against Salman Rushdie, and the general use of extrajudicial, transnational violence (e.g., in 1987, he declared that Iranian forces had the capacity to "destroy American economic interests around the world"),” according to The Washington Institute.

Early after the 1979 revolution Rouhani was appointed as the “Military Coordinator” during which he began purging the existing military, replacing them with those utterly loyal to Khomeini. Through the span of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s that left millions of people killed and injured, and saw the regime even sending small children to battle and literally “clear” minefields, Rouhani is known to have served as the right hand of former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, then appointed by Khomeini himself as commander of the armed forces.

“In the mid-1980s, as a military commander and nascent diplomat, Rouhani implicitly endorsed the development and use of chemical weapons,” reports show.

During the 1999 student uprising that shook the Iranian regime’s very foundations Rouhani headed the Supreme National Security Council and made his position known through his remarks.

“These students are too pathetic and worthless for us to have to begin changing our directives. The continuance of this mess is not acceptable for our regime and the people. I issued strict orders against these elements [the students] to confront and severely deal with these opportunists. Wherever they are, we will handle them and suppress them. People will witness what today's security and disciplinary forces, the heroic members of the Basij (auxiliary militia) will do to these rabble-rousers and thugs, if they dare to imagine that they can continue their so-called peaceful campaign. The agent that has united our people today, is simply indestructible; that agent is Islam and Islamic rule which is the absolute symbol of the Supreme Leadership,” he said.

Later on, Rouhani served as a nuclear negotiator and placed his effort to depict an image of a cooperative Iranian regime to the international community. However, Rouhani has been quoted of boasting about deceiving the West.

Gatestone Institute reported:

“In April of 2006 during a speech at the Assembly of Clerics, Rouhani was caught on tape, boasting that while talks were taking place in Teheran, Iran was able to complete the installation of equipment for conversion of yellowcake -- a key stage in the nuclear fuel process -- at its Isfahan plant, but at the same time convince European diplomats that nothing was afoot. "From the outset," he said, "the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything.' The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them!'"

After reaching the regime’s presidency in 2013, Rouhani pledged to loosen social restrictions, provide economic relief for the people and release political prisoners. Four years down the road, however, Iran continues to be known for its flagrant human rights violations. Rouhani’s report card shows over 3,000 executions. The windfall provided through the deal that claimed to curb Iran’s nuclear program has only been used to further fuel Iran’s involvement in Syria and warmongering across the region, purchase weapons systems and further drive the regime’s ballistic missile initiatives. And last but not least, the Iranian people have yet to feel any social or economic relief under Rouhani’s tenure.

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