A new president, a new era in Iran
Thursday, 06.27.2013, 07:27pm- Arab American News
On June 14, 2013, Iranians passionately participated in their presidential election and chose HojjatolIslam Dr. Hassan Rouhani to serve as the 7th president, since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
I have known Dr. Rouhani for 37 years. He is the right man, at the right time, for the right job. He is a man of faith and determination, mind and manner, knowledge and experience, rationality and righteousness.
Dr. Rouhani has a strong seminary background, which includes a PhD from the University of Glasgow, and has written almost 100 books and articles. He has also supervised 700 research projects, in addition to a great number of national and international presentations on a variety of social, political and religious issues. Dr. Rouhani’s work has earned him a very special place among the Islamic Republic’s leaders.
The president elect’s educational background, combined with his decades of experience and successful services in legislation, national security, defense and nuclear negotiations with international atomic agencies and world governments, are just a part of the new president’s credits and qualities.
What I admire most about Dr. Rouhani is his ethical character and moral values. Voting for Rouhani was a vote for the rule of law, democracy, civil rights, peace and prosperity. In addition, it was a vote for wisdom, patience and humbleness, which are what have inspired people the most.
It was his solidarity with a founding father of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, and previous president, Sayyed Mohammad Khatami, that promoted the presidency of Dr. Rouhani. It was also the indirect support of leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei that helped this democratic process and prevented the extremists from sabotaging Rouhani’s election.
The highest leaders of Iran heard the voice of the people and recognized that continuing on the previous path would cause more disastrous destruction of the economy, image, interests and ethics of the country.
The observations of extremely happy celebrations in the streets across Iran, reminded me of the public passion of the people after the victory of the revolution in 1979. People have happily welcomed a new chapter, new era, and new hope for a better future, which will be blessed with freedom, justice, prosperity, honesty, trust and confidence in their new administration. The next step for the president is to practice what he preached during his campaign.
Dr. Hassan Rouhani.It is obvious that the resolution of tremendous social, political, economic and ethical issues cannot happen in one night, or by one man. The leader’s job is to provide the key; it will be up to all citizens to help open the doors of opportunity. It will take some time to address the high rate of unemployment, poverty and corruption that are the result of bad management on the inside and unjust and blind sanctions on the outside.
Certainly, with a mutual understanding and cooperation between the supreme leader and the president, along with the support of millions of energized youth, progress will be reached earlier than is expected.
It is my hope that this election provides a road map to the Arab World, whose "Spring" has been suppressed by dictators, or hijacked by extremists, to discover the right path and turn the current regional bloodshed to love, brotherhood and cooperation.
Both Sharia laws and international laws have allowed for the president elect to be moderate and understanding; Whereas, the sectarianism in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan has been fueled by foolish fatwas that lack the wisdom, compassion and justice of either Sharia, or international laws. In Rouhani’s democratic pattern no room exists for Takfiry ideology of Al-Qaida and other terrorism organizations.
Our message to president Obama:
Now that the people of Iran have made their point through a democratic election and have chosen a responsible president, who answers questions with honesty and integrity, it is now your administration’s turn to respect the rights of Iranians, end this unjust economic war against them, and stop helping the Saudi government by sending Al-Qaida Takfiry followers to create further bloodshed in the region, in the name of putting pressure on Iran.
The victory of Rouhani serves as a big test for our administration. It is in the best interests of the United States and Iran to move toward a new diplomacy and remove all these painful sanctions that hurt the innocent citizens. Let’s not make the same mistakes that President Bush made during the democratic rule of president Khatami.
Let’s pass this test with integrity and honesty, through both expression and action.
Fortunately the tone of the international community towards Iran has already changed. The message of the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the U.S., plus Germany) towards the Iranian election and the invitation of President-elect Rouhani to the Geneva conference on Syria may signify a new era of communication and engagement.
Among world politicians, only Netanyahu is angry over the election in Iran, as he believes that, with Rouhani, it will be more difficult to mobilize the world against Iran.
I hope that our Congress keeps a distance from external political selfishness that show complete disregard for American interests and integrity.
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi is the Director of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, Michigan