|Nick Name:||"Diplomat Sheikh" The Washington Post|
|Height:||170 cm (5' 7'')|
|Birth Day:||November 12, 1948|
|Birth Place:||Sorkheh, Iran|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|170 cm (5' 7'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He studied law at both the University of Tehran and the Glasgow Caledonian University. Also a cleric in the Shia Islam faith, he attended the Qom Seminary.
Hassan Rouhani (born Hassan Fereydoun) was born on 12 November 1948 in Sorkheh, near Semnan, into a religious Persian family. His father, Haj Asadollah Fereydoun (died 2011), had a spice shop in Sorkheh and his mother lived in Semnan until her death in 2015 with her daughters and sons-in-law. Asadollah Fereydoun is reported to have been politically active against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, and arrested first in 1962, and then more than twenty times before the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Rouhani married his cousin, Sahebeh Erabi (Rouhani), who is six years younger, when he was around 20 years old and has four children (one son and three daughters). Rouhani's wife changed her last name from "Еrabi" (Persian: عربی) to "Rouhani" some time after marriage. Born in 1954, she is not politically active. The Guardian and the Financial Times reported that Rouhani also had a fifth child, a son who has died in unknown circumstances.
Rouhani started religious studies in 1960, first at Semnan Seminary before moving on to the Qom Seminary in 1961. He attended classes taught by prominent scholars of that time including Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, Morteza Haeri Yazdi, Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani, Soltani, Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, and Mohammad Shahabadi. In addition, he studied modern courses, and was admitted to the University of Tehran in 1969, and obtained a BA degree in Judicial Law in 1972. In 1973, Rouhani entered military service in the city of Nishapur.
As a young cleric, Hassan Rouhani started his political activities by following the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the beginning of the Iranian Islamist movement. In 1965, he began traveling throughout Iran making speeches against the government of the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah (king) of Iran. During those years he was arrested many times and was banned from delivering public speeches.
In November 1977, during a public ceremony held at Tehran's Ark Mosque to commemorate the death of Mostafa Khomeini (the elder son of the Ayatollah Khomeini), Rouhani used the title "Imam" for the Ayatollah Khomeini, the then exiled leader of the Islamist movement, for the first time. It has been suggested that the title has been used for Khomeini by others before, including by the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, although Rouhani was influential in publicizing the title.
Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Rouhani, who had been engaged in revolutionary struggles for about two decades, did his best to stabilize the nascent Islamic Republic and as a first step, he started with organizing the disorderly Iranian army and military bases. He was elected to the Majlis, the Parliament of Iran, in 1980. During five terms in the Majlis and for a total of 20 years (from 1980 to 2000), he served in various capacities including deputy speaker of the Majlis (in 4th and 5th terms), as well as the head of defense committee (1st and 2nd terms), and foreign policy committee (4th and 5th terms).
He was born Hassan Fereydoun (or Fereydun, in reference to a just king in Persian mythology, Persian: حسن فریدون, Persian pronunciation: [hæˌsæn-e feɾejˈdun]) and later changed his last name to Rouhani, which means 'spiritual' or 'cleric'; also transliterated as Rowhani, Ruhani, or Rohani). It is not clear when he officially changed his last name. He was named as "Hassan Fereydoun Rouhani" (Persian: حسن فریدون روحانی) in a list of Majlis representatives on 5 July 1981, while photos of his identification card (in Persian transliteration: shenasnameh) taken around his presidential campaign in 2013 only say "Rouhani" is his last name.
Among responsibilities shouldered by him in the post-revolution era was leadership of the supervisory council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) from 1980 to 1983. In July 1983, while Rouhani was heading the council, the council members and Rouhani had conflicts with Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani the then head of IRIB, which led to temporary replacement of Hashemi by first Rouhani and then immediately Mohammad Javad Larijani. The conflict was resolved by the Ayatollah Khomeini intervening and insisting on Rafsanjani staying as the head of IRIB.
When Robert C. McFarlane, Reagan's national security adviser, came to Tehran in May 1986, Rouhani was one of the three people who talked to McFarlane about buying weapons. Eventually, this weapons sale became known as the Iran–Contra affair.
Rouhani was offered and turned down the post of Minister of Intelligence of Iran in 1989.
After the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was amended and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) came into being up to the present time, he has been representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, at the council. Rouhani was the first secretary of the SNSC and kept the post for 16 years from 1989 to 2005. He was also national security advisor – to President Hashemi and President Khatami – for 13 years from 1989 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2005. In 1991, Rouhani was appointed to the Expediency Council and has kept that post up to the present time. He heads the Political, Defense, and Security Committee of the Expediency Council.
Rouhani continued his studies at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, graduating in 1995 with an M.Phil. degree in Law with his thesis entitled The Islamic legislative power with reference to the Iranian experience and a PhD degree in Constitutional Law in 1999 for a thesis titled The Flexibility of Shariah (Islamic Law) with reference to the Iranian experience. Rouhani's Caledonian research was initially supervised by Iranian lawyer and scholar Professor Sayed Hassan Amin and later by Islamic law scholar Dr Mahdi Zahraa.
In the midterm elections for the third term of the Assembly of Experts which was held on 18 February 2000, Rouhani was elected to the Assembly of Experts from Semnan Province. He was elected as Tehran Province's representative to the Assembly's fourth term in 2006 and is still serving in that capacity. He was the head of the political and social committee of the assembly of experts (from 2001 to 2006), member of the presiding board, and head of Tehran office of the secretariat of the assembly (from 2006 to 2008). On 5 March 2013, he was elected as a member of the Assembly's "Commission for investigating ways of protecting and guarding Velayat-e Faqih".
Rouhani is considered to be a moderate and pragmatic politician. In 2000, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy described him as "power-hungry". He was elected as president with heavy reformist support, and he pledged to follow through with reformist demands and to bridge divides between reformists and conservatives.
Rouhani was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for 16 years. His leading role in the nuclear negotiations which brought him the nickname of "Diplomat Sheikh", first given to him by the nascent Sharq newspaper in November 2003 and was frequently repeated after that by domestic and foreign Persian-speaking media. His career at the Council began under President Hashemi Rafsanjani and continued under his successor, President Khatami. Heinonen, former senior IAEA official, said that Rouhani used to boast of how he had used talks with Western powers to "buy time to advance Iran's programme." His term as Iran's top nuclear negotiator, however, was limited to 678 days (from 6 October 2003 to 15 August 2005). That period began with international revelations about Iran's nuclear energy program and adoption of a strongly worded resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In June 2004, the board of governors of the IAEA issued a statement which was followed by a resolution in September of the same year, which focused on Iran's nuclear case with the goal of imposing difficult commitments on Iran. That development was concurrent with the victory of the United States in Iraq war and escalation of war rhetoric in the region. The international community was experiencing unprecedented tensions as a result of which Iran's nuclear advances were considered with high sensitivity.
As tensions increased and in view of the existing differences between Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Atomic Energy Organization, a proposal was put forth by the foreign minister, Kamal Kharazi, which was accepted by the president and other Iranian leaders. According to that proposal, a decision was made to establish a politically, legally, and technically efficient nuclear team with Hassan Rouhani in charge. The team was delegated with special powers in order to formulate a comprehensive plan for Iran's interactions with the IAEA and coordination among various concerned organizations inside the country. Therefore, on the order of President Khatami with the confirmation of Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rouhani took charge of Iran's nuclear case on 6 October 2003. Subsequently, negotiations between Iran and three European states started at Saadabad in Tehran and continued in later months in Brussels, Geneva and Paris.
Following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, Rouhani resigned his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after 16 years on 15 August 2005, and was succeeded by Ali Larijani as the new secretary who also took charge of Iran's nuclear case. Larijani, likewise, could not get along with the policies of the new government and resigned his post on 20 October 2007, to be replaced by Saeed Jalili. Rouhani then was appointed by the Supreme Leader as his representative at the SNSC.
Allegations regarding Rouhani's plagiarism were first raised in 2013 when it was claimed that he had probably "lifted" sentences from a book by Afghan author Mohammad Hashim Kamali. Glasgow Caledonian University, Rouhani's graduation school, argued that the sentences were both cited properly. The issue was raised again amid 2017 Iranian presidential election when a student campaign claimed that they had for the first time investigated Rouhani's whole thesis using plagiarism detection tool iThenticate and that chapters one through four of Rouhani's thesis had been plagiarized at least 39%, 43%, 40% and 82%, respectively. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Kalantari, a member of the Assembly of Experts, Shiraz University faculty member and one of the alleged victims, said that "major segments" of Chapter 4 of Rouhani's thesis had been translated from his book without being referenced.
Rouhani was considered a leading candidate in the June election because of his centrist views yet close ties to Iran's ruling clerics and the Green Movement. He announced his presidential candidacy on 11 March 2013 and registered as a presidential candidate on 7 May. Amid the run-up to the election, former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, together with reformists supported Rouhani on the presidential race after pro-reform candidate Mohammad Reza Aref dropped out of the presidential race after Khatami advised him to quit in favor of Rouhani. On 10 June, Mehr news agency and Fars news agency, suggested that Rouhani might be disqualified prior to the election and The Washington Post, in an editorial, predicted that Rouhani "will not be allowed to win". On 15 June 2013, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced the results of the election, with a total number of 36,704,156 ballots cast; Rouhani won 18,613,329 votes, while his main rival Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf secured 6,077,292 votes. Rouhani performed well with both the middle class and youth, even garnering majority support in religious cities such as Mashhad and Qom (an important seat of Shia Islam and the clergy, many of whom surprisingly do not support conservatives) as well as small towns and villages. Rouhani's electoral landslide victory was widely seen as the result of the Green Movement from the 2009 elections, with crowds chanting pro-reform slogans. Religious Iranians equally celebrated Rouhani's victory, demonstrating what analysts described as a thorough rejection of the policies of the conservative factions.
He was announced the winner on the day following the election. He received his presidential precept from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 3 August 2013 and entered Sa'dabad Palace in a private ceremony. His work as president officially began on the same day at 17:00 IRDT. He was inaugurated as the seventh president of Iran on 4 August in House of the Parliament.
Rouhani announced his cabinet on 4 August. He had a ten-day mandate for introducing his cabinet members to the parliament but he did not use this. Then, parliament voted on his cabinet, which was scheduled on 14–19 August. Between three reformist politicians (Mohammad Reza Aref, Eshaq Jahangiri or Mohammad Shariatmadari) that were likely for the vice presidency, Rouhani appointed Jahangiri for the position. There were also many candidates for the ministry of foreign affairs: Ali Akbar Salehi, Kamal Kharazi, Sadegh Kharazi, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mahmoud Vaezi but Zarif became Rouhani's final nominee. Although several names were being circulated for the other ministerial posts before the final announcement, the office of president-elect denied these speculations. On 23 July 2013, it was reported that eight members of Rouhani's cabinet had been finalized: Jahangiri as first vice president, Zarif as foreign minister, Rahmani Fazli as interior minister, Tayebnia as finance minister, Dehghan as defense minister, Namdar Zanganeh as petroleum minister, Najafi as education minister, Chitchian as energy minister, Nematzadeh as industries minister, Hassan Hashemi as health minister and Akhondi as transportation minister. This become official after Rouhani presented the list of his ministry nominates to the parliament on his inauguration day. He also appointed Mohammad Nahavandian as his chief of staff.
According to a March 2014 report by Center for International Media Assistance, since Rouhani takeover in 2013, "Censorship of the Internet has only gotten worse, but it's more and more clear that Rouhani does not have complete control over this process".
In September 2013, eleven political prisoners were freed including noted human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and Mohsen Aminzadeh. The move came just days before his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly.
Rouhani's visit to New York City in September 2013 was hailed as major progress in Iran's relations with the United States. He previously said that his government is ready to hold talks with the United States after thirty-two years. Rouhani denied reports that during his trip he had refused a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, and felt more time was needed to coordinate such a meeting. On 27 September 2013, a day after the two countries foreign ministers met during the P5+1 and Iran talks, Rouhani had a phone call with President Obama that marked two countries' highest political exchange since 1979. However, due to this phone call Rouhani was protested by conservatives who chanted "death to America" when he returned to Tehran.
Rouhani began his presidency in November 2013 with approval and disapproval ratings near 58% and 27% respectively, according to Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) which is assessing it on a quarterly basis. It gradually fell down to 48% and he recorded a 33% disapproval rating in May 2015. His job approval boosted after Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to the survey conducted by IranPoll for the University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM), standing on 88% with a large majority (61%) expressing a "very favorable view" of him (up from 51% in July 2014) and a ±3.2 margin of sampling error. The poll also indicated Rouhani has a "tough challenge" in maintaining the support due to the fact that people have high economic expectations from the deal, and it could become his Achilles' heel. iPOS has recorded a 54% approval and 24% disapproval, days after the deal in August 2015. The trend has continued until February 2016, with 67% and 18% approval and disapproval ratings, marking the highest level since he took office.
Rouhani met with British Prime Minister David Cameron, marking the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution that the leaders of Iran and the United Kingdom have met. On 20 February 2014 the Iranian Embassy in London was restored and the two countries agreed to restart diplomatic relations. On 23 August 2015 the embassy was officially reopened.
In 2015, Rouhani appointed Marzieh Afkham and Saleh Adibi, as the first female since the 1979 (the second in history) and the first Sunni Kurd respectively, to hold office as ambassadors.
In March 2015, Rouhani sent a letter to President Obama and the heads of the other five countries negotiating with Iran, explaining Iran's stance. He announced it on his Twitter account. The US National Security Council confirmed that the letter had been passed on to the U.S. negotiating team, but its contents were not released. Rouhani also spoke by phone with the leaders of all the nations involved in the negotiations, except for the United States.
According to a poll conducted in March 2016 by Information and Public Opinion Solutions LLC (iPOS) among Iranian citizens, Rouhani has 75% approval and 12% disapproval ratings and thus a +54% net popularity, making him the second most popular politician in Iran, after Mohammad Javad Zarif with +69% net popularity. Rouhani surpasses Hassan Khomeini (+52%), Mohammad Khatami (+43%) and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (+38%) who take the following places. The firm states with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
In his press conference one day after election day, Rouhani reiterated his promise to recalibrate Iran's relations with the world. He promised greater openness and to repair the country's international standing, offering greater nuclear transparency in order to restore international trust. Revolutionary Guards Major General Mohammad Jafari criticised Rouhani's administration. "The military, systems and procedures governing the administrative system of the country are the same as before, [but it] has been slightly modified and unfortunately infected by Western doctrine, and a fundamental change must occur. The main threat to the revolution is in the political arena and the Guards cannot remain silent in the face of that." In May 2017, Rouhani was re-elected as President with 23.5 million votes.
During the 2017 presidential election, Rouhani's views moved more to the left and he fully aligned with the reformist faction.
In February 2019, Rouhani condemned the United States for trying to topple Iran's ally, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
On 3 January 2020, the second most powerful person in Iran, Qasem Soleimani, was killed by the United States, which considerably heightened the existing tensions between the two countries. Rouhani said that Iran "will take revenge".
After Joe Biden won the presidential elections against Donald Trump in November 2020, Hassan Rouhani stated that it was an opportunity for Biden’s administration to “compensate for previous mistakes”.
Currently, Hassan Rouhani is 74 years, 2 months and 18 days old. Hassan Rouhani will celebrate 75th birthday on a Sunday 12th of November 2023.
Find out about Hassan Rouhani birthday activities in timeline view here.