Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rouhani for President

A vote for Rouhani is a vote to bring normalcy to the country

By Nader Uskowi

UPDATE: A latest opinion poll published on Wednesday 12 June by iPOS shows Rouhani leading all other candidates in the presidential race.

Note: This article was originally posted on Monday 10 June.

With the withdrawal of Mohammad Reza Aref form the presidential race tonight; Hassan Rouhani becomes the consensus candidate of the reformists and moderates across Iran. A Rouhani victory would be a clear and historic rejection of eight years of hardline policies that have produced economic calamities and global isolation.

A Rouhani government will bring back normalcy to Iran’s relations with the West, with the expectation of real compromise by both sides: the West recognizing Iran’s right to develop its civilian nuclear program to its full potential and lifting all sanctions against the country; and Iran recognizing international concerns over military dimensions to its nuclear program and offering transparency and acceptance of unhindered IAEA inspections and monitoring of its nuclear facilities and nuclear research programs.

A Rouhani government can bring normalcy to Iranian economy. The rial should regain its value. The oil and oil products should be sold to highest bidders. And the Iranian businesses should re-establish their relations with global banking and business communities. Such steps are indeed critical to fight the current chronic unemployment and inflation and will give hope to the country’s entrepreneurs and foreign investors to begin investing in the future of the country.

A Rouhani government can be expected to respect the human rights, and start the process of constitutional changes to guarantee equality for women and minorities. His government is expected to push for the release of political prisoners, including those still behind bars or under house arrest because of the 2009 election protests. These steps are necessary to re-engage the youths, the future of the country, in the political process.

The alternative could well be a Jalili government whose policies would be the exact opposite of the ones reviewed above. A vote for Rouhani is a vote to bring normalcy to the country and give the Iranian youths a chance for a better life.

File photo: Dr. Hassan Rouhani (Wikipedia)


Anonymous said...

That is all well and good, but how is Rouhani supposed to achieve all of these great things, or even one of these things? Just because he is elected it will not mean that Iran's differences with external powers would be automatically fixed, in fact he will have no power over any nuclear policy or foreign policy or any other major decisions in Iran; these are all directly controlled by those who answer only to Khamenei. How does Rouhani plan to change this political equation to one where the President actually has any power?

Anonymous said...

Highly unlikely that he will win. The UK media are reporting his fraudulent claims to a PhD from Scotland no less.

Hassan Rowhani: claims to have a degree from Glasgow University.

The British academic record of an Iranian presidential candidate has come under scrutiny amid uncertainty over where and when he obtained his qualifications.

Hassan Rowhani, who has emerged as the leading reformist contender in the run-up to Friday's presidential election, originally claimed in official state-sponsored biographies to have graduated with a PhD in law from Glasgow University.

He would need to have herculean multi-tasking skills to write a PhD thesis while heading the national security council

Now an election campaign film has changed his alma mater after a website, Iran Election Watch, quoted a Glasgow University spokesman as having "no record of anyone of [Mr Rowhani's] name" ever attending the institution.

The half-hour campaign broadcast - which has been shown on Iranian television - states that Mr Rowhani went instead to Glasgow Caledonian University.

"He went to England [sic] and graduated with a MA and a PhD in Glasgow Caledonian University," the narrator says, accompanied by footage of the university campus.

But the alteration has failed to clear up questions about Mr Rowhani's credentials. While the film does not give a date for his studies, the narrative implies that it was during the 1970s, when he was an active political opponent of the Shah. Glasgow Caledonian was established in 1993.

When a correspondent on Gulf 2000, a Middle East internet forum, pointed out this discrepancy, a supporter of Mr Rowhani responded with a newspaper web link purporting to show that he received his PhD in 1999 - but under a different family name, Feridon.

That date would have coincided with Mr Rowhani's tenure as secretary of Iran's supreme national security council - a role in which he led negotiations with the West over the Iranian nuclear programme - and membership of another state body, the expediency council.

"He would need to have herculean multi-tasking skills to write a PhD thesis while heading the national security council," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iran-born analyst with the Inter-Disciplinary Centre in Herzliya in Israel.

It also contradicts the time-line suggested in his campaign film - the section about his time in Glasgow is followed by a segment showing documents from Savak, the Shah's much-feared secret police, referring to the political activities of a "Dr Hassan Rowhani", suggesting he already had a PhD before Iran's 1979 revolution.

A Glasgow Caledonian spokesman said the university was checking Mr Rowhani's credentials but was unable to confirm them by the time of publication.

The doubts over Mr Rowhani's academic background coincide with his emergence as the most charismatic nominee in the election. Although previously seen as a moderate conservative, Mr Rowhani has wooed reform-minded voters with his denunciations of the repressive atmosphere in Iranian society and by advocating greater personal freedoms.

But he is not expected to win a race dominated by hardliners. on Monday, Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel, a former parliament speaker close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, withdrew from the race in a move apparently aimed at helping a better-placed conservative candidate.

The Telegraph, London

Anonymous said...

I disagree, with Rohani.

He has had his chance and he has proved to be too soft on the West. The West shall humiliate Iran by walking all over it every step it moves to consolidate. Do not forget the moratorium during the Khatami era, and how the West kept asking for more and more until there was nothing more to give.

Besides choosing Rohani would mean giving away the names of Iran's scientists and we know where that leads to !

Ghalibaf shall be the Better manager.

My guess is many upper middle class of some cities shall vote for Rohani and that could add up to 30-35 % at the most (25% least, due to the shrinking middle class because of the sanctions).

The rest of the country shall vote for a couple of others, but at the end it will be the question of who endorses whom as candidates drop out in the first round.

At the end of the day, one can only hope and vote.

Azari by fortune and Iranian by Grace of God
Dariush London

Anonymous said...

Yes, but we do not know if they count the vote if people participate; last time they said Karoubi had 1 % of the vote; from his own province, in which he was elected by overwhelming majority for Majles,Karoubi had received 4 %; and now he is in jail; that is the way this regime operates; now , we should suddenly believe every thing is fine ? Hardly ...

Nader Uskowi said...

The president plays a major role setting the tone of relations with other countries. Please compare Rafsanjani/Khatami presidencies with Ahmadinejad’s in this regard. The elements of a principled compromise with the West, where Iran’s rights to civilian nuclear program are recognized to its fullest, and sanctions are removed are indeed present. Obama/Kerry/Hagel national security team is the best the U.S. has had during these long years of conflict, and Rouhani has proven that he is capable of taking advantage of this rare opportunity to begin meaningful negotiations. Iran will not face a better national security team in Washington to reach a negotiated settlement and Rouhani’s victory can provide the impetus for both sides to aim for just such settlement.

The reason I started with foreign policy issues here is that normalization of relations with the West and removal of sanctions are key elements to reverse economic downturns. Lifting of oil and banking sector sanctions will have meaningful consequences. The rial will regain its value. The factories can purchase raw material needed (something they can’t do now because they cannot pay for it because of banking sanctions). The exporters can sell Iranian products (they will be able to do that because they can get paid for them). Iranian construction projects in the region can restart, because the Iranian investors can open L/Cs for raw material and equipment needed), and so on. On the oil sanctions, the government’s hard currency revenues will be doubled after the lifting of sanctions. All these developments will push re-energize a stalled economy, cutting unemployment and with right policies stop rising inflation. They will happen overnight, but the process needs to start, and start soon.

On political front, on issues of human rights and political prisoner, the government can exert pressure, especially if it wins a large victory in this election, to start the process of healing and reconciliation. The road is long and fraught with dangers from the powerful rightwing, but the journey should start now before it’s too late. Alternative to internal reconciliation and normalization of foreign relations, when the youth loses all hopes for future, could be very dangerous for the country.

Nader Uskowi said...

last sentence in second paragraph should real "they will NOT happen overnight..." (I need to stop writing comments on tiny cellphone screens!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 7:02

I am not sure how involved and aware you are with Iran's social and public opinion "inside" Iran.

But I assure you, Karubi has always been a joke, since the late 80's. Everyone knows of him in Iran of being a "Zan-Zalil" and that in a negative sense. (His wife beats him from time to time.)

His wife is like "Connie Corleone" in that family and I am sure the 1% were those who did not know of his weakness/problems.

Mr Karubi, is having the time of his life. He was once again beaten up by his wife (few months into his house arrest) and requested a separate apartment for himself, which was granted and now enjoys the company of .... ;)

But, certainly I understand the worries. But the polarisation in Iran is so much that the margin of victory for Mr Ghalibaf shall be very wide indeed.

And to correct you a last time if I may, Iran has a Government which is chosen by popular vote, so the terminus "Regime" is insulting to Iranians who have offered so much to rid Iran of its Royal dictator and so much blood to preserve the country in the 80's. So please be more gracious with your words.

Azari by fortune & Iranian by Grace of God
Dariush London

B.M.A said...

You have a basketful of GOODIES for people!!-INDEED YOUR NAME shall be missed at the ballot box!!.

Anonymous said...

@Uskowi...Are you serious about Rouhani bringing "normalcy" to Iran's relationship towards the West?
You seem to have convinced yourself or have forgotten for some strange reason that the Islamic non-republic was founded on hatred and paranoia towards the West and the Western support towards Israel?
The hard fact remains that neither Khatami (the joker of the pact) nor Rafsanjani (the king pin of the theocracy) as well as any other tea boy of the velahyat be it Rouhani,can change the foundations of lies,deception and the cult of death that the regime has been built on.Didn't Khatami win 20 million votes? Did that in any way decrease the human rights situation in his eight years in office? No it didn't,but instead the human rights became even worse.They arrogantly chose to live by the sword through warring against the Iranian nation.That by itself speaks volumes.
As I said before,none of these shysters are to be believed in any shape form or colour.
Best regards :o)

Anonymous said...

The point is well taken. What most do not grasp is that with a moderate in power of Presidency the many centers of moderation that have been sidelined in past eight years will come to forefront. The fact is that Iranian society and people are moderate by culture and their nature, and as such a person such as Rohani will have no problem recruiting managers and positioning them in influential positions within centers of power throughout Iran.

Nader Uskowi said...

B.M.A., Thanks for your kind words. It’s too late for this election, but I will take your advice and run in four years, and will make you my campaign manager, and this is why: You have persistently and continually tried to sell us the idea that Khamanei is so good, Ahmadinejad is so good, etc. If you use the same persistence trying to convince everyone that this humble self is so good, I might win, and if I win, I’ll make you Minister of Propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Nader Jaan,
While I agree with you that Mr. Rouhani is the best of the bunch who can try to bring "normalcy", his chances to win are not very high. We know that Khatami's first-term win was very much unexpected and that certainly could happen here, but there are forces both in Iran and outside that will do their best to prevent this from happening. The campaign to make him sound like a liar (as reported in the Guardian) is part of that effort. Who cares if he has a PhD or not, as if the others, with the possible exception of Velayati, have that level of academic credentials. The amount of harm that "Dr." Ahmadinejad inflicted on the country should tell us that it is not academic credentials alone that make someone a good leader ! Az MD

Anonymous said...

Here is the last results of a scientific pool (details is the site):

according to this Rouhani just passed Qalibaf and can be the top candidate in Friday.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:17AM

For your question "How does Rouhani plan to change this political equation to one where the President actually has any power?", enemies of the Islamic Republic hope to find the answer too and this blog may help them to find one.

From enemies point and some commentators' views it would serve their purposes if there would be a rift between the Supreme Leader and Mr. Rouhani, when he would be elected as the next President.

However, knowing Mr. Rouhani's previous statements and positions, it would be an illussion to assume that kind of situation.
Mr. Rouhani has correct strategic thinking and that excludes any naive or traitorous wishes of enemies or their duped supporters.

Short times and fast emerging events will set clear choices for the leadership of the Islamic Republic, toogether with her new president.

The 2015 year will bring new political landscape, due to important events and outcomes that will emerge before that deadline.
At that time, it will be determined how Syria's problem was solved and wheteher the West deployed its missile shield against Russia and Iran as well as whether Russia received two huge assault ships (Mistral type) from France.

It is not a long time to wait for that kind of outcomes for Iran leadership, and because those events are already in process, therefore new president doesn't need to "invent" any changes to the Iran's current political positions.

Nuclear enrichment issue, without West's declaration to set a deadline for lifting all (major) sanctions, may wait for the 2015 and earlier "event's outcomes".

Regardless who will be elected as the next president of the IRI, they will face the same events and necessities for similar strategy to deal with events' outcomes.


Anonymous said...

--- " Iran has a Government which is chosen by popular vote "---

quite a total crock of fecal matter.

the government is chosen by the theocratic dictator and the small circle around him.

such a large and noisome lie could only come from a defective, necrotic brain riddled with malignancy.

Anonymous said...

My guess is a high turnout and a contest between Jalili and Rouhani. Most younger people and the jange tahmili generation will vote for Jalili. Iran is pretty "normal" anyway and does not need any more "normalcy" better suited to the snooping deadbeat US police state. Perhaps NSA will tap Rouhani's phone calls too and find out the results prior to the elections with Florida hanging chads.LOL.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nader, please just wait and see how the western media will spin Rouhani's image into someone every bit as bad as Ahmandinejad, if and when he is elected. This is because there is very little political will for a normalization of relations with Iran form the outside world. Even if the Iranian regime's elite was committed to normalization of relations, which they are not; there are too many foreign vested interests in keeping Iran economically and politically isolated and weak (Arab Sates, India, Russia, China, Israel, EU, all make huge profits from the economic sanctions on Iran and her political isolation). How do you propose that Rouhani can change this overarching political/economic equation in the favor of improving the lives of the Iranian people?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:02 AM

Ask Mr. Aref for an answer to your claim that there was fraudulent election, because Mr. Aref stated that there was no election's fraud....


Anonymous said...

The Ayatollah's Point Man
Meet Saeed Jalili, the holier-than-thou front-runner in Iran's presidential election.
n politics, vapid certitudes, fortified by real or professed pieties, form a dangerous brew. Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator for the past six years, not only proudly drinks it like Kool-Aid, but offers servings to the troubled people of Iran as a panacea for their economic, cultural, and political challenges, and also as a path to salvation in the afterlife.

Jalili, at 47 years old, is the youngest candidate in the presidential election taking place this Friday -- and he owes his meteoric rise to his unabashed fealty to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. We are, the Iranian presidential candidate has repeatedly declared, travelers through this fleeting material life -- but residents of the other, more important eternal Existence. "All across the region we can hear our battle cry, 'Ya Ali,'" he said, referencing the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, a vaunted figure in Shiism. "We heard it in Lebanon with the victory of Hezbollah. We hear it in our resistance against the Zionist regime. Time and time again we have proved our strength through this slogan."

Jalili, who was declared the front-runner in the presidential race early on by media outlets close to Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is often praised as "our living martyr" due to his loss of one leg in Iran's eight-year war with Iraq. He was appointed director-general of the office of the supreme leader in 2001 and then became an advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following the 2005 presidential election. The confrontation between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad did not damage the supreme leader's trust in Jalili, however, as Jalili was entrusted with the Islamic Republic's nuclear file in 2007. Iran's position in its negotiations with the West became more uncompromising after his appointment: A U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks reported how an EU official "was struck by his seeming inability or unwillingness to deviate from the same presentation" and described him as "a true product of the Iranian revolution."

Anonymous said...

Jabbar 7:15 losing it

VoiceofReason said...

One can only hope. I have a feeling Ghalibaf, followed by Rouhani then Jalili. I think I'll cry if Jalili makes it through to the next round. It'll definitely go to a second vote I can't see to much space between the votes from the top three candidates.

Anonymous said...

Nader Uskowi June 11, 2013 at 7:56 AM
The nuclear issue is a sham,even if iran destroyed its entire nuclear industry the sanctions still would not be lifted the west has made this crystal clear,iran has to learn to live with the sanctions and find ways around them while confronting the west and destroying its influence in the region.The chances of any sort of breakthru` are slim to none as this would require the west to acknowledge the iranian governments legitimacy and acknowledge/accept iranian power and interests in the region.The us wants a subservient iran,to turn the clock back to the days of the shah ie iran as just another corrupt "arab" state.Baring an 180 degree shift in us middle eastern policy this cold war is likely to last well into the future,that much is plain