Rowhani's Election: Promise of Change or More of the Same?

By Monshipouri, Mahmood | Insight Turkey, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Rowhani's Election: Promise of Change or More of the Same?


Monshipouri, Mahmood, Insight Turkey


Hassan Rowhani marshaled a stunning victory in Iran's June 14 presidential election, in which nearly 36.7 million Iranians participated--roughly 72 percent of eligible voters. Rowhani managed to secure 18 million votes, approximately 51 percent of all votes cast. The only cleric out of the six presidential candidates, Rowhani's victory is a clear signal of protest against the Ahmadinejad administration's management of Iran's relations with the Western world, including issues over nuclear policies. He secured an overwhelming victory thanks to the votes of reformists and moderates. Although the last-minute endorsement by former presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, both known for their reformist agendas, proved crucial to Rowhani's victory, many experts believe this was a victory of a pragmatist and activist model of opposition politics in Iran.

Rowhani's support for broader social freedoms, his criticism of the securitization wi wthin Iran, and his strong advocacy for women's rights rendered him a favorite candidate for change. However, there is no denying that economic insecurity--largely caused by the imposition of sanctions by the West in reaction to Iran's nuclear program--was a key factor in his victory. Rowhani built his campaign around the mantra of moderation, with an underlying message of regional detente and open dialogue with the West. Rowhani appears intent on repairing lingering rifts with regional Arab governments and Turkey, reversing the trend toward self-imposed isolation.

Improving relations with Saudi Arabia holds significant implications for several unstable areas in the region, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Having become the site of a sort of proxy war, Syria has been turned into the most perilous arena for competition between Sauid Arabia and Iran. During the election campaign, Rowhani frequently noted that Iran should engage in serious negotiations with the Western world, while underscoring the primacy of national interest by arguing that Iran should prioritize the country's economy and well-being of its people above its nuclear program.

Who is Rowhani?

Born in 1948 near the northeast province of Semnan, Iran, Rowhani studied religion at an early age, and during his teens, he was heavily influenced by leading Shia scholars. He received his bachelor's degree in judicial law at the University of Tehran and a doctorate in law from Scotland's Glasgow Caledonian University. He launched his political career in the 1960s as a follower of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and after the Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979, Rowhani played several key roles in the newly established Islamic Republic. He has long been intimately associated with the ruling clerical establishment, maintaining balanced relationships with both reformist and conservative camps.

A dedicated and staunch supporter of Khomeini, Rowhani has served in the Iranian government for decades in various capacities: as a member of parliament (1980-2000), as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (1989-2005), and as a member of the Assembly of Experts (1990-present). Moreover, Rowhani has also served on an advisory body for the Supreme Leader and headed the office's Center for Strategic Research. A quintessential regime insider, he fully comprehends all the inner workings of Iranian governing institutions. His pragmatic style is likely to sideline radical thinking and rigid ideological posturing, as long as he enjoys public support.

An Emerging Reformer

Rowhani has thus far presented himself as the standard bearer of the reformist movement in Iran--a movement that was suppressed during the disputed 2009 presidential election. Although Rowhani has never spoken out in plain terms against the brutal crackdown on the 2009 Green Movement's supporters and leaders, he has recently advocated for their release from house arrest, along with the release of former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rowhani's Election: Promise of Change or More of the Same?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.