Rouhani’s One-Year Anniversary

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


RouhaniAt this time last year, Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian regime insider, assumed the office of presidency in the Islamic Republic. Rouhani was approved to run by the constitutionally-mandated and appointed 12 members of the Islamist and hardline Guardian Council, and after he gave empty promises of bringing “dignity” to the nation,  freeing political prisoners, promoting civil rights, normalcy, reintegrating Iran in the world economically and politically.

Other crucial reasons behind his election included his loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Islamist revolutionary principles, his background profile as a government insider and chief nuclear negotiator, the blessings of Supreme Leaders for him, and the low standards that the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set.

The purpose of having Rouhani as the president was evident from the beginning: for the first time, Ayatollah Khamenei and the senior cadre of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps deeply felt that their hold on power was being threatened. This was due to international economic and political sanctions, Iran’s nuclear defiance, along with disenfranchisement and discontent of Iranian youth (for reasons such as unemployment, human rights violations, suppression of freedom of press, expression, assembly, high inflation).

How has Rouhani served his regime? Under the first year of his presidency, Rouhani and his nuclear technocrat team were unprecedentedly and unexpectedly successful at reaching the regime’s objectives. He was capable of achieving the ideological, economic, and geopolitical goals of the Islamist agenda of the ruling clerics.

It is crucial to point out that, in the first year, Rouhani’s goal was to merge the Islamic Republic’s ideological and Islamist principles with its economic, strategic and geopolitical interests. Rouhani wanted to ensure the survival of the Islamist regime.

The game that Rouhani and his team played with the West and particularly the United States was anchored in utilizing softer tones while exploiting the fragile and weak position of the Obama administration.

First, by striking the nuclear interim deal with the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom, plus Germany), Rouhani and his technocrat nuclear team were successful in obtaining sanctions relief– worth between $6 and $7 billion – and suspending certain sanctions on some Iranian industries including the automotive sector, gold and precious metals trade, and petrochemical exports.

On the other hand, currently, the Islamic Republic’s economy has been stabilized according to the International Monetary Fund, and oil exports have increased by approximately 25 percent, specifically to Asian countries, in the first six months of the year 2014.

While Rouhani has spent a considerable amount of his political capital on the international arena, nuclear talks, attempting to empower the Islamic Republic in the world affairs and economy, and removing economic sanctions, Iran’s fundamental foreign policies in the region, internationally and domestically remain ideological and intact.

For example, President Hassan Rouhani voiced his support for the Syrian government, as Iran’s support for the Syrian government financially, militarily, politically and advisory continues. Even after the use of chemical weapons against the civilians in Syria, Rouhani’s administration has not shifted its support and policies towards President Bashar Al Assad.

In addition, under Rouhani’s administration, the Islamic Republic continues to support non state actors such as Hezbollah and Hamas. In addition, the Islamic Republic’s foreign policies towards Israel remain intact as well.

On the other hand, billions of dollars gained by the ruling cleric, are tightly distributed among the top officials. Millions of ordinary Iranian people still encounter hardship economically. In addition, the unemployment rate remains to be in double digits for millions of Iranian people.

When it comes to human rights and freedoms (assembly, press and speech),  Rouhani has supported the status quo of repression. According to the Human Rights Watch, there has been “no sign of improvement” and the Islamic Republic continues to violate human rights under Rouhani.

On March 11, Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights conditions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, released his second annual report to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), pointing out that there exists an “apparent increase in the degree of seriousness of human rights violations” and he expressed his concern at the “rate of executions in the country, especially for crimes that do not meet serious crimes standards.”

In addition, in October, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his annual report expressing concerns with regards to the continuing human rights violations in the Islamic Republic under Rouhani. Human Rights Watch points out that “The government continued to block access to Shaheed and to experts with other UN rights bodies.”

It is an illusion to believe that any political figure in the Islamic Republic, who rises to power, will shift the Islamist, radical, and ideological perspective of this regime. Loyalty to the Islamist principles, antagonism towards Israel, and supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, or other Islamists groups, are the underlying and basic rules that each Iranian politician believes in and has to pursue, in order to survive and rise the political ladder in Iran. The higher an Iranian politician is in his political life and position, the more loyal he is to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the more he voices his antagonism towards the state of Israel publicly or covertly, and the more he views the United States as a Great Satan. This underlying rule is the political formula for survival and promotion under the Islamist and ideological regime of the Islamic Republic.

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  • Muhammad67

    Oh yes. Islam will prevail and you Americans will have to follow it. Remember my words :)

    • UCSPanther

      Ain’t gonna happen, pal.

      We’ll teach you that conquest will not be easy, and the arrogant always get laid low.

      He who exalteth himself will be humbled…

      • andrew semyte

        The #s are not in the The Chosen Peoples’ favor. The death of the US dollar means Israel is kaput.

        • UCSPanther

          When have they ever been?

          “Our arrows will blot out the sun!”

          • Muhammad67

            Be realistic

          • UCSPanther

            Speak for yourself, Jihadi.

          • Mahdi

            Learn the truth. Stop being a tool for the Jews and media.

          • UCSPanther

            Rather be a Jewish tool than a tool for the Ayatollahs…

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity
          • UCSPanther

            That’s a good one.

        • UCSPanther

          Your arrogance will be your demise. Gamal Nasser learned that the hard way, and unlike your beloved Ayatollahs, he actually had a shot, but blew it big time.

          • Mahdi

            I see how US is declining.

        • Webb

          Quoth Andy The Smelly Smegmyte.

      • Muhammad67

        you guys need to learn how to control your country first economically. Largest debtor in the world.

        • UCSPanther

          Threatening people with slavery and death is never wise.

    • Drakken

      You fuc*ing inbred savages really have no idea what is coming do you? Your God forsaken islam one way or another will become extinct, just like you and your inbred ilk. We will be playing cowboys and muslims soon enough.

    • kate5778b

      No, because people have freedom of thought, and we don’t want to be the living dead (Zombies)……like you. Why don’t you refer to sura 3:3 and then Deuteronomy 18:15-22. THE Prophet must be an Israelite…..we have nothing to fear, all you can do is humiliate and kill us as your ‘perfect example for a muslim to follow’:, mo sura 33:21

      My next question is if Mohumed lived today, with his reputation with little girls and women, would you want to follow him? What does he have to offer? atonement? Even Mo didn’t know where he was going after death……sura 3:3 is clearly wrong then.

  • Mahdi

    Iran is booming economically and US is always in economic crisis….haha

    • andrew semyte

      Because they are free from the shackles of NYC/City of London Jewish Central Banking- duh.

      • Mahdi

        Mahdi, can you explain more on the role of Jewish dominance?

        • IslamDownpressesHumanity

          What an idiot, he can’t even keep his own sock puppets straight.

          • SerJew

            LOL! He´s a pathetic moron.

      • Mahdi

        Andrew, can you explain more on the role of Jewish dominance?

        • andrew semyte

          All you have to do is see who dominates central banking and high finance to see who controls $ (everything else is BS- just ask Mayer Rothschild)- it is overwhelmingly Jewish- but when that is pointed out one is immediately labeled an anti-semite- the fear of being labeled that is simply conditioning by the Jewish-run US media.

          • Habbgun

            Aww…..are you inventing an audience??? You really are the kid with an alcoholic father aren’t you. I’m still busting on you and you are still taking it.

          • Mahdi

            When you can not refute a fact, you stick to non sense.

          • Habbgun

            When you have a religion that is a total fake you force conversions, terrorize and kill women, children, and old men. You hide behind Leftists even when the Leftists are for things you pretend to be against. Gay marriage activists, feminists, socialists and everything other failed atheist philosophy supports you and you love ‘em back. Any pathetic, effeminate, scrawny webtroll who needs a psych evaluation you run towards and hide behind. If you really believed in Allah you would do none of this. You do all of this. Those collaborators you have believe Islam is an empty shell they can exploit. They don’t know much but they get that right.

        • andrew semyte

          It’s complicated but at the same time it’s not

          • Webb

            Did you catch that, Madi? Andy thinks you’re too stupid to waste his time explaining. This Andy he is genius. You live at the bottom of a well people relieve themselves into. You will not get out. Got it?

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            I always thought the magical well was really just an open-air toilet where the excrement flows out rather than in.

  • andrew semyte

    Mazel Tov Rouhani!

    • Muhammad67

      They are much better politicians…

      • andrew semyte

        We don’t have pols in DC- just prostitutes for AIPAC and Wall St.

        • Muhammad67

          I love your analysis Andrew. The only smart person here.

          • andrew semyte

            I just get tired of being bombarded by lies. A man who stops trying to seek the truth might as well be dead.

          • UCSPanther

            Are you trying to make us laugh ourselves to death?

          • andrew semyte

            Feel free to refute anything I have said in an intelligent manner.

          • UCSPanther

            And feel free to throw around more tired garbage that idiots like yourself have been throwing around for generations.

          • andrew semyte

            The truth never goes out of style.

          • UCSPanther

            Since The Protocols are your idea of “truth”, you are screwed.

          • Mahdi

            You are really manipulated by the media. Seek the truth and facts. Not difficult.

          • UCSPanther

            Projecting again?

          • Mahdi

            Exactly!!!

          • Webb

            Ohhhh, so sorry little smegmyte Andy, you have no intelligence.

          • andrew_semyte

            You continue to prove my point

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            So the Mahdi and Muhammad67 are your sock puppets? Or are you having a hard time keeping track of which sock puppets are yours?

          • Muhammad67

            You really need to learn to discuss issues intelligently

          • Mahdi

            You need to wake up. You have been sleeping all your life.

          • Webb

            Mu loves your central foremember too, Andy. You just found yerself some troll love on FPM. It happens amongst you.

          • Muhammad67

            You need to learn to discuss issues intelligently.

      • Webb

        MuMu, why do you say ’67′ when it is 72 virgin he-goats you will be getting as soon as you do the world big favor and enter into Paradise? Do not sell yourself so short. Real pleasure awaits you. Convert your little Andy and he can pleasure you there, too. Yum yum!

        • Muhammad67

          Keep repeating the media line. you do not have control over your mind. they posses you.

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            Yeah, and in whatever islamic sty you formerly wallowed in anyone who dares publicly oppose your religious line gets dead.

  • Mahdi

    I dont understand why Americans so blindly accept whatever the government, Israeli, the Jews, and media tells them and they are easily manipulated by messages such as love Israel, the Jews, everybody else is bad. They are so naive. They can not see the facts.

    • andrew semyte

      It’s conditioning since birth by the media and education system- both dominated by Jews. The one thing people- esp pols- fear more than ANYTHING in the US(as compared to Europe)is being labelled an anti-semite- until that mindset is changed nothing will be different. The Zionists/Jews are very influential in the mouth-breathing Christian Evangelical community which make up a huge part of the southern/rural US’s population and that success has been achieved by infiltration of the Zionists on a huge scale.

      • UCSPanther

        Dim-witted Muslims and dim-witted Neo-nazis.

        Get a room, you two.

        • andrew semyte

          Again- feel free to post an intelligent retort instead of something that any 15 year old could utter.

          • UCSPanther

            If you want to threaten us with slavery and death, don’t be surprised if you get a less than favorable response.

          • Mahdi

            you must be 10 years old.

          • UCSPanther

            That’s the truth pal.

          • andrew semyte

            That you are 10 years old is the truth- dumba$$?

          • UCSPanther

            You need to find something better to do, skinhead.

            Throwing around your childish and projectionist insults doesn’t change the fact that you are a loser and a traitor.

          • Mahdi

            The truth is bitter. You always avoid it. You need courage to face it.

          • UCSPanther

            Let me guess: Presstv.

            Rather take my chances with western media, thank you very much.

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            Is that how old your wife is? Or your little catamite boyfriend?

          • andrew semyte

            The hasabara trolls are younger now- the older y_ds are too busy killing Palestinian women and children.

          • UCSPanther

            And yet you have no problem threatening genocide.

            Hypocrisy is thy name.

          • Mahdi

            That’s true.

          • Drakken

            I have told you time and time again, if you love those inbred goat fucking ragheads so much, come on over and join them, what’s the matter puzzy, all talk and no action like typical progressive POS.

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            I’ll bet you like 10 year old boys though donctha Ayatollah? You big hairy, stinking Bacha Bazi man you.

        • Mahdi

          Stop the hate speech. be intelligent

          • UCSPanther

            You are one funny Jihadi.

            Freedom of speech may be an alien concept to an Ayatollah loyalist, but it isn’t to me.

            Besides, parroting what your state-run propaganda station says isn’t intelligent. It is indoctrination…

          • Mahdi

            You are generating a tirade. There is no intelligent point in all your comments.

          • Drakken

            Pizz off raghead, don’t worry, your day is coming.

      • Webb

        Who knew the Confederates were tobacco chewin redneck Zionist infiltrators? That Rebel Yell, “Shalom!” gave them away, eh Andy? The Southern Baptist Synagogue has been exposed by diligent little Andy! You write a book about this and you will be richer than 700 Jew diamond merchants. Andrew Diamondstein! Elizabeth Whorren will even make eyes at you to place your hand on her Cherokee knee. Oh Andy, you are finally in luck!

        • andrew semyte

          When that Satanic Zio-pig Bibi shows up in the USA them inbred hillbillies go crazy.

          • Mahdi

            That’s exactly right. Thanks for your courageousness.

          • IslamDownpressesHumanity

            Thanks for your islamic stupidity, islam has a nuclear future, but not in the way inbred camel shaggers like you might think. Buh-bye atollah!

          • UCSPanther

            There’s a reason why your little cause has always lost: The facts rarely support your narrative, so you resort to distortion and fabrication to make them fit. Remember what happened with Rachel Corrie and the Flotilla Flop?

            The only “conspiracy” here, is that truth is on our side, and I prefer to be on the side that will win in the long run.

    • UCSPanther

      Nice projection, Ayatollah loyalist.

      Look in a mirror.

      • Mahdi

        You just have to learn how to refute things in good manner, not just saying non sense

        • Webb

          Refute nothing. You are dung upon the earth. When was the last time filthy muslims won a war against Israel? It doesn’t happen Mahdi. You and the Smegmyte can engage in all the wishful thinking and threats you want, but that changes nothing. Like Hamas said, the G-d of the Jews changes the course of their most advanced rockets in mid-air. How do you fight against that? You are laughingstock, and Jew G-d has you in derision. You just don’t get it.

        • IslamDownpressesHumanity

          Wiping your bunghole w/your right hand isn’t refuting anything — except in your small islamic mind.

    • IslamDownpressesHumanity

      So did the Mahdi fall down that well? Or did he mistake it for a toilet?

  • Walter Sieruk

    With the one year anniversary of the rise to power in Iran of that subtle yet disingenuous and lying Rouhani with his insidious schemes alone the the other mullahs and other Islamic clerics. They all still engage in the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya. Which is the teaching of Islam the those Muslim in power may lie to other as long as it’s for the good of Islam is very much in practice among those Islamic clerics in power in Iran today.Thus it may be good to remember the wisdom of the words of Ayelat Savyon, who is the head director of the Iran desk at the Middle East Media Project. For he stated “Just because Iran has a new president that hasn’t changed their goals…Their agenda is hasn’t changed, the only thing that has changed is the image that they are trying to present to the world.”

  • kate5778b

    Yes, and there is silence on the streets, no banners, no protests, crying in the streets especially for the media, the Arab world can do what it likes, to its own and everyone else and nobody gives a damn, our governments certainly don’t.

  • IslamDownpressesHumanity

    What? No mention of Pastor Saeed who has been languishing in an Iranian jail for converting to Christianity? Or are some human rights violations more acceptable than others?

  • Alexander

    What rogue regime?
    Is it the same regime that is funded by the National Iranian Oil Company that owns 50% of the Rhum gas field in Britain?