August 3, 2013 |
TEHRAN - As a seminary student, he made a hazardous foray across the border into Iraq to meet his icon, the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Years later, he joined Khomeini in France, eventually returning home after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. On Sunday, Hassan Rouhani will be sworn in as Iran's president, succeeding Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The styles of the incumbent and his successor couldn't be more different. But what everyone - in and outside Iran - wants to know is whether Iran's policies will change as well.
July 15, 2013 |
Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani has accused his soon-to-be predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of provoking fights within the leadership and driving the economy into crisis, signaling that he will focus on the country's domestic troubles when he takes office on Aug. 4. Rouhani will have little direct influence on Iran's foreign policy or security matters, such as the disputed nuclear program that Western governments suspect is aimed at gaining atomic...
June 21, 2013 |
The election of Hassan Rowhani as president of Iran is good news for Americans, except for the neoconservative hawks who brought us the war in Iraq and have been especially eager for another military adventure in Iran. In Iranian terms, Rowhani is a moderate. In the Iranian media, he is called the “diplomat sheikh” and the “sheikh of hope.” In his initial news conference after the election, Rowhani said he would work to build trust between Iran and the United States, Britain and other Western powers with the goal of lifting the international sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.
June 10, 2013 |
TEHRAN - When Iranians go to the polls Friday, they will bid an unceremonious farewell to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the populist with the zip-up windbreaker who ran afoul of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, even as he became Iran's provocative face to the world. But the voters will be casting ballots with scarcely a hint of the reformist spirit that swept the country four years ago and ended in a bloody crackdown. Considering the front-runners in Iran's presidential race, it seems likely that, no matter who wins, the nation will drift further into the grip of Islamist hard-liners and remain defiant in stoking regional hostilities and pursuing a nuclear program that has drawn stiff economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe.
May 22, 2013 |
TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday denounced as unjust the supervisory electoral body's disqualification of his top aide from next month's presidential poll and said he plans to appeal to the nation's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad spoke a day after the powerful Guardian Council, which vets candidates, barred the outgoing president's confidant, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the nation's most illustrious political figures, from the June 14 election.
May 11, 2013 |
TEHRAN - The run-up to Iran's June presidential election took a dramatic turn Saturday with last-minute candidacy announcements by two controversial political figures: former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, top aide to outgoing incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the final moments before the five-day registration period expired, Rafsanjani and Mashaei arrived via separate entrances at the Interior Ministry, where all would-be candidates were required to sign up by 6 p.m. Saturday.