|Secretary of Supreme National Security Council|
14 October 1989 – 15 August 2005
|President||Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
|Succeeded by||Ali Larijani|
|Member of the Assembly of Experts|
18 February 2000
|Constituency||Semnan (3rd term)
Tehran (4th term)
|Member of the Expediency Discernment Council|
8 May 1991
|President of Center for Strategic Research|
1 August 1992
|Preceded by||Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha|
|Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Iran|
28 May 1992 – 26 May 2000
|Preceded by||Behzad Nabavi|
|Succeeded by||Mohammad-Reza Khatami|
|Member of Parliament of Iran|
28 May 1980 – 26 May 2000
|Constituency||Semnan (1st term)
Tehran (2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th terms)
12 November 1948 |
Sorkheh, Semnan, Iran
|Political party||Combatant Clergy Association|
|Islamic Republican Party
|Alma mater||Glasgow Caledonian University
University of Tehran
Hassan Rouhani (also transliterated as Rowhani) (Persian: حسن روحانی) (born 12 November 1948) is an Iranian politician and Shia Mujtahid. He has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Expediency Council since 1991, member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.
Rouhani has been also deputy speaker of the 4th and 5th terms of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. In this capacity, he was also heading Iran’s former nuclear negotiating team and was the country’s top negotiator with the EU-3 – UK, France, and Germany – on the Iran’s nuclear program.:138
On 7 May, 2013, Rouhani registered for upcoming presidential campaign that will be held in June 2013. He said that he will prepare a “civil rights charter”, restore the economy and improve rocky relations with the West if he is elected.
Early life and education
Hassan Rouhani was born in 1948 in Sorkheh, near Semnan, into a faithful family who fought against the former Shah of Iran. He started religious studies in 1960, first at Semnan Seminary:55 before moving on to the Qom Seminary in 1961.:76 He attended classes taught by prominent scholars of that time including Seyed Mohaqqiq Damaad, Sheikh Morteza Haeri, Seyed Mohammad Reza Golpayegani, Soltani, Fazel Lankarani, and Sheikh Mohammad Shahabadi.:81 In addition, he studied modern courses, and was admitted to the University of Tehran in 1969, and obtained his bachelor’s degree in judicial law in 1972.:309-312 Having a keen interest in learning modern sciences, Rouhani continued his studies in the West and received a master’s degree in public law followed by a doctorate degree from the Glasgow Caledonian University.
Before the Islamic Revolution
From the very beginning of the Islamic movement in Iran, Hassan Rouhani, a young cleric, was in the middle of political struggles and started his political activities by following Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1965, he started traveling around Iran making enlightening speeches against the government of the Shah and was arrested in his first one. During those years, he was arrested many times and was banned from delivering public speeches.:232
In a public ceremony held to commemorate the demise of Mostafa Khomeini in Tehran's Ark Mosque in November 1977, Rouhani used the title “Imam” for Ayatollah Khomeini (the exiled leader of the Islamic movement) for the first time.:375 Since he was prosecuted by the SAVAK, Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti and Ayatollah Motahhari advised him to leave the country.:385 Once outside Iran, he spent his time making public speeches to Iranian students who were studying outside the country, and joined Khomeini after he arrived in Paris.:410
After the Islamic Revolution
Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hassan Rouhani, who had been engaged in revolutionary struggles for about two decades, did his best to stabilize the nascent Islamic Revolution and as a first step, he started with organizing the disorderly Iranian army and military bases.:515 He was elected to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) in 1980. During five terms in the Majlis and for a total period of 20 years (from 1980 to 2000), he served in various capacities including deputy speaker of the Majlis (in 4th and 5th terms), as well as the head of defense committee (1st and 2nd terms), and foreign policy committee (4th and 5th terms). Heading Supervisory Council of the IRIB from 1980 to 1983 was among the responsibilities he shouldered in the post-revolution era.
During Iran-Iraq war, Rouhani was a member of the Supreme Defense Council (1982-1988), member of the High Council for Supporting War and headed its Executive Committee (1986-1988), deputy commander of the war (1983-1985), commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbiya Operation Center (1985-1988), and commander of the Iran Air Defense Force (1986-1991).
He was appointed as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (1988-1989).
At the end of the war, Hassan Rouhani was awarded the second-grade Fath (Victory) Medal along with a group of commanders of the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards. In another ceremony on the occasion of the liberation of Khoramshahr, he and a group of other officials and military commanders who were involved in the war with Iraq were awarded first-grade Nasr Medal by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ayatollah Khamenei.
After the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was amended and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) came into being up to the present time, he has been representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, at the council.
Rouhani was the first secretary of the SNSC and kept it for 16 years (from 1989 to 2005). He was also national security advisor – to President Hashemi and President Khatami – for 13 years (from 1989 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2005).
In the midterm elections for the third term of the Assembly of Experts which was held on 18 February 2000, Rouhani was elected to the Assembly of Experts from Semnan Province. He was elected as Tehran Province's representative to the Assembly’s fourth term in 2006 and is still serving in that capacity. he was the head of the political and social committee of the assembly of experts (from 2001 to 2006), member of the presiding board, and head of Tehran office of the secretariat of the assembly (from 2006 to 2008).
In addition to executive posts, Hassan Rouhani has kept up his scientific activities. From 1995 to 1999, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Tehran Universities and North Region. Rouhani has been running the Center for Strategic Research (one of the most creditable research centers in the country) since 1991. Having the rank of research professor, he has written many books and articles in Persian, English and Arabic. He is the managing editor of three scientific and research quarterlies in Persian and English, which include Rahbord (Strategy), Foreign Relations, and Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs.
Hassan Rouhani was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for 16 years. His career at the Council began under President Hashemi Rafsanjani and continued under his successor, President Khatami. His term as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, however, was limited to 678 days (from 6 October 2003 to 15 August 2005). That period began with international revelations about Iran’s nuclear energy program and adoption of a strongly-worded resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In June 2004, the Board of Governors of the IAEA issued a statement which was followed by a resolution in September of the same year, which focused on Iran’s nuclear case with the goal of imposing difficult commitments on Iran. That development was concurrent with the victory of the United States in Iraq war and escalation of war rhetoric in the region. The international community was experiencing unprecedented tensions as a result of which Iran’s nuclear advances were considered with high sensitivity.:120-126
As tensions increased and in view of the existing differences between Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Atomic Energy Organization, a proposal was put forth by foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, which was accepted by the president and other Iranian leaders. According to that proposal, a decision was made to establish a politically, legally, and technically efficient nuclear team with Hassan Rouhani in charge. The team was delegated with special powers in order to formulate a comprehensive plan for Iran’s interactions with the IAEA and coordination among various concerned organizations inside the country. Therefore, on the order of President Mohammad Khatami with the confirmation of Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rouhani took charge of Iran’s nuclear case on October 6, 2003.:138-140 Subsequently, negotiations between Iran and three European states started at Saadabad in Tehran and continued in later months in Brussels, Geneva and Paris.
Rouhani and his team, whose members had been introduced by Velayati and Kharrazi as the best diplomats in the Iranian Foreign Ministry,:109,141 based their efforts on dialogue and confidence building due to political and security conditions as well as strong propaganda against Iran. As a first step, they prevented further escalation of accusations against Iran in order to prevent reporting Iran’s nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council. Therefore, and for the purpose of confidence building, certain parts of Iran’s nuclear activities were voluntarily suspended at several junctures.
In addition to building confidence, insisting on Iran’s rights, reducing international pressures and the possibility of war, and preventing Iran’s case from being reported to the UN Security Council, Iran succeeded in completing its nuclear fuel cycle and took groundbreaking steps.:660-667 However, decisions made by the nuclear team under the leadership of Rouhani were criticized by certain circles in later years.
Following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, Rouhani resigned his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after 16 years on August 15, 2005,:594,601 and was succeeded by Ali Larijani as the new secretary who also took charge of Iran’s nuclear case. Larijani, likewise, could not get along with the policies of the new government and resigned his post on October 20, 2007, to be replaced by Saeed Jalili.
The book entitled National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy contains the memoirs of Hassan Rouhani as the official in charge of Iran’s nuclear case and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. It gives a complete account of how decisions are made in Iran’s political system as well as the role of high-ranking institutions in the nuclear case and all stages of negotiations with the European countries along with the relevant documents. The memoirs include highly readable and important details which will make a thorough judgment about the performance of the nuclear team and decisions made by the Iranian leaders possible.
The publication of this book at a time that Rouhani and his team are being accused of “submission to the Western states” and while sanctions and other political and economic problems resulting from the nuclear approach and decisions made by his successors are escalating, is also a response to history and a defense before the public opinion as the best jury.
National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy has been compiled in 12 chapters and seven appendices in 1,209 pages and is the first comprehensive book so far published on Iran’s nuclear energy program and is considered an oral history book.
The warm welcome given to the book has led to many reprints in a short period of time, so that its fifth edition appeared in winter of 2013. Excerpts of the book along with photos of nuclear negotiations were also published as Narration of Foresight and Hope in 552 pages in March 2013.
The Diplomat Sheikh
Although Hassan Rouhani had already appeared as a diplomat and taken part in many meetings and negotiations with foreign officials as Majlis deputy speaker or the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, it was his leading role in the nuclear negotiations which brought him the nickname of “diplomat Sheikh.”
This nickname was first given to him by the nascent Sharq newspaper in November 2003 and was frequently repeated after that by domestic and foreign Persian-speaking media. Rouhani has been the sole clerical member of Iran’s nuclear team up to the present time.
Iran's presidential race
Hassan Rouhani is considered a leading candidate in the June election because of his centrist views and close ties to Iran’s ruling clerics. A top supporter said he favors negotiations to resolve the dispute over Iran’s suspect nuclear program, while preserving Iran’s rights. Rouhani told a campaign rally that he would seek “constructive interaction with the world,” an apparent reference to Western nations, which have imposed several rounds of sanctions to try to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. The West believes Iran may be heading toward production of nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear development program is peaceful. He stated “My goals will be restoring the economy, promoting morality and relations with the world,” Rohani said. “I will build government of prudence and hope.”
List of Hassan Rouhani's books:
- National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy (2011)
- National Security and Economic System of Iran (August 2010)
- Islamic Political Thought; Vol. 1: Conceptual Framework (December 2009)
- Islamic Political Thought; Vol. 2: Foreign Policy (December 2009)
- Islamic Political Thought; Vol. 3: Cultural and Social Issues (December 2009)
- Memoirs of Dr. Hassan Rouhani; Vol. 1: The Islamic Revolution (2008)
- Narration of Foresight and Hope (March 2013)
- An Introduction to the History of Shia' Imams (2012)
- Age of Legal Capacity and Responsibility (October 2012)
- Introduction to Islamic Countries (2008)
- Islamic Revolution: Roots and Challenges (1997)
- Fundaments of Political Thoughts of Imam Khomeini (1999)
- Role of Seminaries in Moral and Political Developments of Society (November 2011)
- National Security and Foreign Policy. to be printed
- National Security and Environment. to be printed
- Memoirs of Dr. Hassan Rouhani; Vol. 2: Sacred Defense. to be printed
- The Islamic Legislative Power (1994)
- The Flexibility of Shariah: Islamic Law (1996)
- Comments on Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence); Lessons of the Late Muhaqqiq Damaad (Chapter on Prayers). to be printed
- Comments on Usul (Principles of Fiqh); Lessons of the Late Ayatollah Haeri (Chapter on Scientific Principles). to be printed
- "Members of Assembly of Experts". Assembly of Experts. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Two new members appointed to the Expediency Discernment Council". The Office of the Supreme Leader. 8 May 1991.
- "Members of Combatant Clergy Association". Combatant Clergy Association. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Hassan Rouhani appointed as the Supreme Leader's representative to the SNSC". The Office of the Supreme Leader. 13 November 1989.
- "Hassan Rouhani's Résumé". CSR. 11 April 2013.
- Rouhani, Hassan (2011). National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy (in Persian). Tehran, Iran: Center for Strategic Research. ISBN 978-600-290-007-4.
- "Iran's former nuclear negotiator registers for presidential campaign". People's Daily Online. 7 May 2013.
- "Iran opens registration for presidential race with ruling clerics holding strong hand". The Washington Post. 7 May 2013.
- "Former nuclear negotiator joins Iran's presidential race". Reuters. 11 April 2013.
- "Iran presidential candidate vows ‘constructive’ outreach to West if elected". The Washington Post. 11 April 2013.
- "Expediency Council member Rohani to run for president". PressTV. 11 April 2013.
- Rouhani, Hassan (2008). Memoirs of Hassan Rouhani; Vol. 1: The Islamic Revolution (in Persian). Tehran, Iran: Center for Strategic Research. ISBN 978-600-5914-80-1.
- "Graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University". Herald Scotland. 6 July 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Hashemi Rafsanjani, Akbar (2009). Memoirs of Rafsanjani; year 1365 (in Persian). Tehran, Iran: Daftar-e Nashr-e Ma'aref-e Enghelab. ISBN 978-964-7193-20-7.
- "Former Chief Nuclear Negotiator Criticizes Ahmadinejad". Iran Pulse. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Iran's Former Nuclear Negotiator Slams Ahmadinejad, Calls Him 'Demagogue'". Fox News. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hassan Rouhani|
- Hassan Rouhani's website
- Former chief nuclear negotiator - Hassan Rouhani - exposes new details on Iran’s nuclear policy
- Hassan Rowhani, Iran's moderate conservative behind nuclear breakthrough
- BBC Profile: Hassan Rowhani
- Power Play The Daily Beast - 16 February 2004
|Secretary of Supreme National Security Council
|Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Iran
Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha
|President of Center for Strategic Research