Monday, June 17, 2013

Quotes From Iran's New "Moderate" President Hassan Rohani

No more Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make fun of, but I'm happy that the Iranians have someone who is relatively moderate (emphasis on relatively) taking the reigns.  They just might have a chance to join the rest of the world, though only time will tell; after all, Hassan Rohani (aka Rowhani and Rouhani) is a cleric, and was part of the Islamic Revolution that turned the country into an Islamic state.

So who is this man, who handily won the election? RFE/RL  put together a list of recent quotes from interviews, his website and the presidential debates that provides a little insight into the president-elect of Iran:

"Using the Internet, I must say, is one of my hobbies regardless of whether I need it."

"Regarding reading, I must say I prefer reading academic papers rather than a novel. I prefer historical movies, but in general I like movies and I spend part of my free time watching films."

"Eight years of isolation is enough."

"All the people in our country, no matter which ethnicity or tribe they're from, should feel they're the citizens of one country and enjoy equal rights."

"We need moderation and rationality; we have to move away from extremism. Likewise regarding the issue of foreign policy -- we need to preserve the interests and national security of the country and we have to create the conditions for the necessary opportunities in the political, economic, cultural, and other spheres for our people."

"If we want to compete with countries like Turkey, Malaysia, and South Korea, we need to create a real revolution in our economy."

"There are a number of media in our country, but there is no variety. The press should work within the framework and shouldn't play with people's reputations."

"Our revolution was a revolution of light and morality, but today, where is morality in our society?"

"We have to give people a free hand; we shouldn't intervene so much in people's private lives and culture."

"In a government of 'Hope and Prudence,' men and women, boys and girls will feel free."

And from Al Arabiya, a list of other quotes on various subjects while campaigning:

“Discrimination against women will not be tolerated.”

Nuclear issue

“We will stand firm to get our nuclear rights recognised as we do for sanctions to be lifted. We need nuclear energy for the nation’s progress and my government will ensure this right is recognized at the lowest cost.”

Iran-U.S. relations

“The U.S. is a world reality which no one can ignore. It is a superpower and the world’s first economy, military and scientific power.”

“We will first convert existing hostile relations to a one-on-one relationship but with tensions, and in the second phase we will gradually decrease tensions. It is then that one can think of other phases in relations.”

The economy

“I have come forward to save Iran’s economy and forge a constructive interaction with the world through a government of wisdom and hope.”

“This administration (of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) made fun of sanctions, deriding them as scrap paper, while we could have avoided them or to some extent reduced them.”


“There are 3.5 million people unemployed in Iran, of whom 867,000 are university graduates. We have to concentrate on national production and technology development. We will invest in small businesses that do not require much capital.”

Political affiliation

“Personally, I believe that the majority of the people seek moderation and rationality. In all of my political career I have had very good relations with the moderates of both political factions, reformists and conservatives. I believe the majority of our society is comprised of moderates.”

He sounds promising, and perhaps anyone would be better than Ahmadinejad, but some people just aren't buying it. Joel C. Rosenberg, author of "The Last Jihad" and "The Twelfth Imam", is one of those, and he explains why.

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