Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 12): Viewpoints of Hassan Rouhani

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Iran Review Research Team

Election fever heats up as Iran’s presidential candidates deliver televised speech.

Review of  Hassan Rouhani, director of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council, viewpoints as declared in his televised interviews:

1. I am a centrist person and I am familiar with moderate principlist and reformist figures. I am in contact with them and my ideas have not changed during the past 30 years; I have never been radical.

2. The existing problems in the field of economy and other sectors are due to [incorrect] management by the [incumbent] administration. With proper planning, production units can be activated and jobs can be created, but this needs stability because sometimes economic regulations of the country have changed 50 times in a single month.

3. Not only those implicated in 2.8-billion-dollar economic corruption case should appear before the court, but all those people who are responsible for the existing economic situation should be held accountable in a popular court as well.

4. The minimum economic growth rate of Iran was supposed to stand at 8 percent at the end of the 20-Year Perspective Plan, but this rate has been 3 percent. Inflation in foodstuff prices has reached 58 percent while point to point inflation has stood at 40 percent. We don’t see such a state of affairs anywhere else.

5. Subsidies should be reallocated to become more purposive, but the question is “has this goal been realized so far?” Subsidies should have been allocated to production sector, but this has not happened. If reallocation of subsidies is to continue, the past problems should be resolved and in addition to cash handouts, people should also receive subsidies in the form of various commodities, so that, their current problems would be solved and their existing concerns would be addressed. My administration of “Foresight and Hope” will make plans not only to solve the economic problems, but also to help people become so well-off that everybody would have a job and they would not need monthly handouts from the government.

6. The country cannot be run by a single political faction and the radical elements have done no practical service to the country. I agree to taking advantage of the capabilities of various people, and my administration will not be limited to any single [political] faction. However, I am averse to radical figures because if it were not for radicalism, we would never witness street protests [following presidential election] in 2009, and there would be no need to get the Judiciary involved in that case.

7. I wish when somebody is insulted in the media and even in [programs aired by] the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, they were given a chance to defend themselves.

8. No juncture can be found in the history of Iran during the past few centuries when relations between Iran and the European countries had been as cold, undesirable and tense as they are today. The existence of extensive sanctions imposed by the European Union against Iran attests to this allegation. The situation of relations with countries like the United States and Canada is quite clear; they are marked by almost daily new threats and sanctions. Even African countries that took advantage of unbridled material and spiritual support of Iran following the Islamic Revolution, have turned their backs on us during the past years. The situation has got so deplorable that even countries like Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Kenya are making a wry face at us. UN resolutions against us (in the field of human rights) are passed with unprecedentedly high positive votes. We are unable to secure any valuable position at international level. In fact, if we wanted to count our friends and allies in the international arena and among the big and small countries, their number would not probably exceed the fingers in one hand; and most of those countries generally lack international weight and credit.

9. When I was in the government, the number of our centrifuges stood at 150 and we were trying to prove falsehood of the United States’ allegations. We later on achieved nuclear technology through guidelines given to us by the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] and that goal was achieved.

10. [The former German Foreign Minister Joschka] Fischer has written in his memoirs that ‘we went to Tehran and gave them our word that we would not allow the nuclear case to be reported to the Security Council.’ They had even promised us to use their veto right [at the Security Council] to counter US [influence]. This means that a threat had been turned into an opportunity.

11. No agreement was signed during negotiations in Saadabad and only a statement was released [by the negotiating parties], and all allegations to this effect are false. We completed the technologies: the number of centrifuges was completed in winter of 2005; heavy water and yellow cake projects were also completed in 2005.

12. The relations between Iran and the United States are marred by deep and chronic wounds. During the past three decades, the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has not given the permission for negotiation with and laying grounds for reestablishment of relations with the United States. The recent statements by the Leader to the effect that he is not opposed to negotiations with the United States if Iran's red lines are respected, have prepared a new ground for defending inalienable rights of the Iranian nation through direct diplomatic confrontation with the United States.

13. Unfortunately, the country is not faring well in terms of foreign relations and any administration coming to office in future should focus an important part of its efforts on restructuring of those relations. As a first step, we must reduce misunderstandings and unnecessary tensions in relations with big powers as well as certain regional powers. The foremost foreign policy priority of my administration will be protection and safeguard of national interests by building confidence and reducing tension with the outside world.

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 11): Viewpoints of Ali Akbar Velayati

 *Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 10): Viewpoints of Saeed Jalili

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 9): Viewpoints of Mohsen Rezaei

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 8): Biographies of Eight Qualified Candidates for Iran Presidential Election

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 7): Critical Notes on Iran's Forthcoming Presidential Election

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 6): Statistical Review of Presidential Elections in Iran

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 5): Economy Top Election Issue

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 4): Relations with United States

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 3): Notes on Elections in Iran

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 2): Political Array of Iran Presidential Election

*Iran's 11th Presidential Election (No. 1): Facts and Figures

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