Now that the confetti’s been swept away and the bubbly’s been polished off- in western capitals, anyway – we’d like to present our Hassan Rouhani fact list (aided by his recent post-victory address) critical to future media reporting. In short: back to reality.
1. Rouhani is an integral part of Iran’s inner circle and strategic decision-making process, including longstanding membership in the Supreme National Security Council – where he’s served in recent years as the Supreme Leader’s personal representative.
2. At no point during the campaign did he criticize Iran’s defiance of UN Security Council and IAEA demands to stop its nuclear activities and cooperate. Rather, he called into question regime tactics and style which brought more sanctions, indicating that he would strive to further advance the program while incurring less of a price.
3. By constantly referring to his experience as nuclear negotiator from 2003-2005, Rouhani has made it clear that he views that period as a role model for his presidency. It is therefore perfectly legitimate for the media to view that timeframe – and his 2004 address– as a barometer.
4. In this context, we would like to illuminate a new document briefly referred to in a previous blog. While written by an Israeli official, readers should take note of this review of the crisis as handled by Rouhani:
Iran’s motivation to advance the nuclear program remained high throughout the crisis, including at its height. After successfully removing the Security Council threat, Tehran focused on making concrete progress – which could explain its conduct during the months before they canceled the suspension.
Food for thought when it comes to the question of continued pressure.
Anyone say ‘change’?