Shiite cleric Hasan Rohwani has been elected as Iran’s next President, from amongst a slate of ruling Ayatollah “guardian council”-approved candidates.
Hassan Rowhani has a lengthy history in Iranian politics, having served as the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council for more than 16 years. He was also a former deputy speaker of the parliament. During the Mohammad Khatami’s Presidency, in 2003, Rowhani became Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Rowhani maintained the post for two years before being replaced by Ali Larijani when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assumed the presidency in 2005. He is also a member of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the Assembly of Experts, a body vested with the power to elect and remove the Supreme Leader. Rowhani is reputed to be close to both Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Chairman of Expediency Discernment Council.
Right until his election to the presidency, Hassan Rowhani headed the Tehran-based think tank, the Center for Strategic Research. Rowhani, in a 2009 monograph published by the Center for Strategic Research, “Islamic Political Thought, Volume I: Theory,” extolled Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini’s alleged enlightened “vision” for Islamic governance, as follows (translation kindly provided by Amil Imani):
It appears distancing from any fundamental ideals of the Islamic Revolution, would only mean to be held in the prison of western politics, “politics without ethics” or a medieval European dungeon, “backward religious thoughts”…And we all have witnessed and taken notes of the warning of great architect of the Islamic government, Ayatollah Khomeini, that we avoid falling over that cliff…[T]he Islamic Revolution and its theorists, and above all, Imam Khomeini, were exemplary leaders who were the first projected, defined and implemented a superb divine Islamic model for all humans and all times.