Hassan Rouhani takes over the office of the Presidency in Iran.  There is a video of his comments after assuming office here.

For a wonderful overview of Rouhani’s background and how he managed to ride to ride to a decisive victory by having a united front of moderates and reformists (and ineptitude among the conservatives), see this essay.

Rouhani’s full speech is available here, so far in Persian.

He is a good example of an Iranian leader who recognizes the power of social media, on Facebook and Twitter.

He’s putting social media to good use:   When Netanyahu false claimed that Rouhani had called for Israel’s destruction (thanks in no small parts to the error of one Iranian news agency), Rouhani calmly released the accurate video of his statement on Twitter, forcing Netanyahu to backtrack.

Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President

Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President from Rouhani's website.

You can follow some news and analysis of Rouhani taking office here using #Rouhani at Twitter.   If you read Persian, follow ‫#تحلیف.

His first statements towards the United States was an olive branch: 

The only way for interaction with Iran is dialog on an equal footing, mutual respect and reducing aggressiveness.”

There were representatives from over 50 countries present for Rouhani’s inauguration.

After 8 years of the bombastic Ahmadinejad, let us hope that Rouhani is able to move Iran towards a path of hope, reason, transparency, and accountability.





  1. Colin Harris-Turner

    Accountability would be a good start. For starters, he should be held accountable, along with others, for the most atrocious massacre in recent Iranian history. During the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners, which resulted in over 5000 deaths, Rouhani was Deputy Commander-in-chief of the regime’s armed forces at the time. Actually since 1982 he he had been a member of the regime’s Supreme Defense Council and a member of the Central Council of War Logistics Headquarters.In those positions, he was fully cognizant of this barbaric act of mass murder and obviously was in full agreement with it.That clearly shows that the notion that Rowhani is moderate and reform oriented is baseless. He is as culpable – and accountable – as any other leading light of the regime for this hideous crime.

  2. Fatemeh Keshavarz

    Rouhani has not been covering up his involvement in the regime. His role and extent of the involvement in the 1988 events have been discussed inside and outside Iran. He is neither a saint nor a revolutionary who would wish to undo the system in which he has risen to power. If by accountability we mean a confession and an ideological change on his part, it will not happen. Neither would it be desirable to have a total reformist who would be powerless to bring about any meaningful change. On the other hand, if as the election participation level shows, the Iranians would like gradual reform rather than revolution, and an able and moderate politician who has shown he can build effective consensus, Rouhani is the person. What will change and how much will depend on wide range of factors. Having followed his election carefully, I wish him luck.

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