Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is often mischaracterized in the West as a moderate and force for change. While he may stylistically appear reasonable and forthcoming, he’s a consummate insider who has been at the pinnacle of power most of his life, supporting extremism and fundamentalist policies.
For 17 years Rouhani has been a member of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the country’s top decision-making panel that oversees defense and national security issues.
Rouhani was twice National Security Adviser to the President; Chief Nuclear Negotiator; Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Services; member of the Supreme Defense Council; Commander of the Air Defense Force; member of the Council of Experts; and five times an elected member of the Majlis, where he served as head of the Defense Committee.
However, Rouhani’s key role in supporting terrorism is absolutely unknown; his support for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; how he duped the West when he was Iran’s top nuclear negotiator; his early years as a fundamentalist activist and protégé of Ayatollah Khomeini; and his hardline opposition to human rights, freedom, and democracy.
These issues and others are discussed on this website to provide a realistic appraisal of Rouhani and his true ambitions as President of Iran.
Hassan Fereydoon Rouhani
Born Hassan Fereydoon (a king in Persian mythology). Changed name to Rouhani, which means “spiritual” or “cleric”
AKA: Hasan, Fereydun, Rohani, Ruhani, Rowhani, Feridon, Hasan, Fereydun
Born: November 12, 1948
Education: BA in Judicial Law, Tehran University (1972)
M.Phil. Degree in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University (1995)
Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, Glasgow Caledonian University (1999)
Languages:Persian (Farsi), Arabic, English
Nickname: Diplomat Sheikh (given to him by Sharq newspaper in 2003)
Married: Married his cousin Sahebeh Arabi (Rouhani), who is six years younger
Children: 4 children. His eldest son committed suicide in 1992. His suicide note reportedly stated, “I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double acts and your hypocrisy. I am ashamed to live in such an environment where I’m forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn’t part of all of this. Telling them my father loves this nation, whereas I believe this to be not true. It makes me sick of seeing you, my father, kiss the hand of Khamenei.”1
Siblings: 3 sisters and a brother named Hossein Fereydon (he’s a former Vice Minister of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
Timeline: 1948 Born in Sorkheh, Semnan Province, Iran
1960 After completing 6th grade, transferred to Semnan Seminary for religious studies 2
1962 First arrested (reportedly arrested more than 20 times before ’79 Revolution.
1963 Entered Qom Seminary to study theology 3
1965 Traveled aboard for 18 months, giving speeches to Iranian students 4
1968 Married his cousin 5
1969 Admitted to the University of Tehran.
1972 Received Judicial Law degree from the University of Tehran.
1973 Entered military service in the city of Nishabour.
1980 Elected member of the Majlis (served five terms until 2000) Head of the Defense Committee. Head of the Supervisory Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) until 1983
1983 Member of the Executive Committee of the Supreme Defense Council (High Council for Supporting War) until 1998
Head of the Executive Committee (1986-88)
Deputy Commander of the War until 1985
1984 Re-elected to the Majlis Head of the Defense Committee
1985 Commander of the Khatam-ol-anbia Operation Center until 1988 Commander of the National Air Defense until 1991
1986 Member of the High Council for War Support (1986-1988) Head of the Executive Committee (1986-1988)
He was one of three people US National Security Advisory Robert McFarlane talked to when he traveled to Tehran in May 1986.
1988 Re-elected to the Majlis Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s Joint Chiefs of Staff until 1989
1989 Declined appointment as head of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)
Appointed member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) by Supreme Leader Khamenei 6
National Security Adviser to the President (Hashemi Rafsanjani) (1989-1997)
Founded Center for Strategic Research
1991 Expediency Discernment Council of the System (1991-present) 7
Head of the Political, Social, and Security Committee
1992 Re-elected to the Majlis Elected Deputy Speaker until 200, 8
1994 Re-elected Deputy Speaker
1995 Graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a M.Phil Degree in Law Member of the Board of Trustees of Tehran University and North Region until 1999
1996 Re-elected to the Majlis, Re-elected Deputy Speaker, Member of the Foreign Policy Committee
1998 Elected member of the Council of Experts (selects Supreme Leader and oversees actions)
Head of the Political and Social Committee (2001-2006)
Member of the Presiding Board and Head of the Office of the Council of Expert’s Secretariat (2006-2008)
1999 Received Ph.D. in Constitutional Law at Glasgow Caledonian University
2000 Re-elected to the Council of Experts, Head of the Political and Social Committee
National Security Adviser to the President (Mohammad Khatami)
2003 Appointed top nuclear negotiator October 2003
2005 Resigned as top nuclear negotiator (August 15, 2005) Tenure concluded on Supreme National Security Council
2013 Elected member of the Council of Experts’ Commission for Investigating Ways of Protecting and Guarding Veleyat-e Faqih
Elected President of Iran (Combatant Clergy Association political party)
Rouhani and Khomeini studied theology at Qom Seminary, a major center of radical fundamentalism. In 1963, Rouhani began studies at Qom Seminary. He attended classes taught by Mohammad Mohaghegh Damad, Morteza Haeri Yazdi, Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani, Soltani, Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, and Mohammad Shahabadi. 9
Rouhani received a Bachelor Judicial Law degree from Tehran University in 1972. He graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a M.Phil degree in Law. His thesis is titled: “The Islamic Legislative Power with Reference to the Iranian Experience.” The degree was awarded to “Hasssan Feridon,” his previous name. When he first enrolled at the University is unknown.
In 1999, Rouhani received a Ph.D. in Constitutional law from Glasgow Caledonian University. The degree was awarded to “Hassan Feridon.” His thesis is titled, “The Flexibility of Shariah (Islamic Law) with Reference to the Iranian Experience.” Two passages in his thesis are identical to passages in a 1991 book by Mohammad Hashim Kamali.
Rouhani was a close associate of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Rouhani delivered the sermon at the memorial service for Khomeini’s son, who reportedly committed suicide in 1977. As a close confidant of Khomeini, Rouhani was successful in gaining the appointment to many high-level government positions. Rouhani first met Ayatollah Khomeini in 1963, likely after his arrest by the Shah. In early spring, the Shah had attacked Iran’s mullahs, calling them “black reactionaries.” In response, Khomeini delivered a scathing speech, describing the Shah as a “poor miserable creature.” He raised the possibility that the Shah might actually be an Israeli and a Jew.
Khomeini’s attack on the Shah led to his house arrest for eight months in a suburb of Tehran. Here, he met a “stream of militants,” likely including Rouhani, who had been first arrested in 1962 and was making speeches against the government.
Rouhani was monitored by SAVAK. Ayatollahs Mohammad Beheshti and Motahhari urged Rouhani to leave Iran to avoid being jailed. Rouhani went abroad for 18 months, giving speeches to Iranian students at universities.
Rouhani formed close bond with Khomeini and was asked to deliver the sermon at Khomeini’s son’s memorial service in November 1977.
Rouhani was reportedly influential in publicizing the title of “imam” for Khomeini. The title historically had been used only with Ali, the fourth Caliph, and his 11 male descendants. Khomeini was the first to also claim the title in 12 centuries. When Khomeini was exiled in Paris, Rouhani traveled to France to be with him.
Center for Strategic Research
In 1989, Rouhani founded the Center for Strategic Research (CSR), a government-funded think tank,10. It was affiliated with the Presidential Office until 1997, at which time it was shifted to the Expediency Council, 11.
As described by CSR, it conducts “strategic research into all aspects, such as Technology, Science, Economy, Social and Cultural Affairs, Foreign Policy, Security, Political Science, law, and Islamic Jurisprudence.”12
Until his election as president, Rouhani was the president of CSR and managing editor of three academic and research quarterlies in Farsi and English:
1 Rahbord (Strategy) – science and research journal
2 Foreign Relations – quarterly
3 Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs – quarterly (English)
CSR “sends a large part of its study results to high-ranking officials and publishes a number of them as books.”13
Rouhani reportedly has published about 100 books and scientific papers, as well as supervised the development and writing of more than 700 strategic studies during the past 20 years.14
Books authored by Rouhani are:
* An introduction to the History of Shia’ Imams (2012)
* The Age of Legal Capacity and Responsibility (2012)
* National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy (2011)
* National Security and Economics System in Iran (2010)
* Islamic Political Thought; Vol.1: Conceptual Framework (2010)
* Islamic Political Thought; Vol. 2: Foreign Policy (2010)
Rouhani held his first press conference after begin elected president at the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research.
Supreme National Security Council
The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) (aka Supreme Security Council) was established in a referendum that approved amendments to Iran’s Constitution in July 1989. The SNSC is Iran’s top decision-making body, charged with ‘overseeing defense and state security policy as well as coordinating the activities of various defense and intelligence bodies.16
Supreme Leader Khamenei appointed Rouhani a member of the Council in September 1989 and tasked him with helping set up the organization.15 Rouhani served on the Council until August 2005, following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Hashemi Rafsanjani, elected president in July 1989, also was a founding member of the SNSC.
The SNSC’s membership includes:
– Heads of Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches of government
– Chief of the Supreme Command Council of the Armed Forces
– Head in charge of the Plan and Budget Organization
– Two representatives nominated by the Supreme Leader
– Minister of Foreign Affairs
– Minister of Intelligence and Security
– Chief of the Army
– Chief of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps
1) “New Iranian President’s Son Killed Himself ‘Over Father’s Extremism,” Atlas Shrugs, June 18, 2013.
2) “Hussan Rouhani’s Mother: I Listened to All the Debates,” Iranwire.com, July 24, 2013.
4) “Hassan Rouhani’s Biography,” Alalam, June 15, 2013.
5) “Hussan Rouhani’s Mother: I Listened to All the Debates,” Iranwire.com, July 24, 2013.
6) “Khamenei Names Ahmad Khomeini to National Security Council,” Associated Press, November 14, 1989.
7) The Expediency Council “formulates general strategy of the Islamic system,” according to the Center for Strategic Research.
8) “Nateq Nouri Elected Majlis Speaker of Iran,” Xinhua General News Service, June 2, 1992.
9) “Hassan Rouhani’s Mother: I Listened to All the Debates,” Iranwire.com, July 24, 2013.
10) Rouhani Biography, Center for Strategic Research, www.csr.ir
15) “Khamenei Names Ahmad Khomeini to National Security Council,” Associated Press, November 14, 1989.
Top Nuclear Negotiator
Rouhani was appointed the head of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team on October 6, 2003, several weeks after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report, stating Iran was concealing nuclear enrichment and processing activities.
Under IAEA rules, the findings of the report should have been referred to the UN Security Council for consideration of sanctions. Instead, the IAEA issued a series of demands to rectify Iran’s breaches.
Rouhani, then Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the top decision-making body on security issues stepped in and took over negotiations with the IAEA. He remained at this post until August 15, 2005, when he resigned, following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President of Iran. Below is an overview of Iran’s nuclear events during Rouhani’s tenure as head nuclear negotiator.
Deceptions & Violations
The PMOI disclosed Iran’s secret nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz, triggering an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that concluded Iran had failed to disclose its nuclear enrichment and processing activities.
In August 2002, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed at a press conference in Washington, D.C. the existence of two secret facilities under construction in Iran that were involved in the production of weapons-grade nuclear fuel.1 One facility was located in the desert town of Natanz and the other was a heavy water production plant in Arak.
Based on this information, the IAEA conducted inspections of nuclear facilities in Iran. In a 30-page report, it concluded Iran had:
1 Secretly conducted plutonium processing experiments using spent nuclear fuel at two facilities in Tehran in 1988 and 1992. (Iran claimed the experiments were just to learn about the nuclear fuel cycle.
2 For 12 years it had operated a secret uranium enrichment program that utilized lasers.
3 Had imported uranium hexafluoride from China to test centrifuges for its uranium enrichment program. The tests were conducted from 1998-2002. The centrifuges were later moved to an underground complex near Natanz.
IAEA inspectors sought to examine the Kala Electric Company in March 2003, but were refused access. Iran claimed the facility was a watch factory. In reality, it was Iran’s primary centrifuge R&D pilot enrichment facility between 1995-2002.
When inspectors finally gained access to the site in August 2003 they found walls had recently been removed, floors were covered with new concrete, and a significant portion of the complex had been repainted.
Iran admitted it had conducted enrichment experiments at the facility, but claimed the tests were only simulations and did not involve nuclear material. IAEA conducted tests at the site using sophisticated technology and found trace amounts of uranium that had been enriched to a level usable in weapons.
Given the evidence, Iran admitted it had conducted tests involving small amounts of uranium gas imported from China in 1991. (Trace amounts were also detected on centrifuges at the Natanz plant. Iran claimed the centrifuges were contaminated with weapons-grade uranium when they were purchased on the black market.)
According to a European diplomat, Iran’s actions were an “attempt to prevent inspectors from successfully discovering what had happened there previously.”2
As a signatory to the NPT, Iran is required to disclose information on nuclear material, its processing, and its use. The IAEA concluded:
“Based on all information currently available to the agency, it is clear that Iran has failed in a number of instances over an extended period of time to meet its obligations under its safeguard agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material and its processing and use.”3
Having determined Iran had concealed enrichment experiments in breach of its obligations, under IAEA rules, the violations “should have been reported to the Security Council,” according to the IAEA.4 Instead, the Agency demanded that Iran:
1 Fully disclose its nuclear program
2 Agree to tougher inspections
3 Suspend enrichment of uranium
The IAEA set a deadline of October 31, 2003 for Iran to turn over the information on its nuclear program. If Iran failed to provide the data, it would be declared in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the case would be referred to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.
On October 6, 2003, Supreme Leader Ayatolah Ali Khamenei directed Rouhani to take over Iran’s negotiations with the IAEA. President Khatami and his cabinet were pushed aside and thereafter were largely excluded from negotiations.5
On October 21, 2003, Iran agreed to the IAEA demands, including signing an additional protocol to allow inspectors unfettered access to nuclear sites. Rouhani also announced Iran would suspend its production of enriched uranium to calm worries that it was embarked on a nuclear weapons program. He described this action as an attempt to show “good will and build confidence.”6
“We have accepted the protocol and we will precisely work within its contents,” Rouhani said.7 But then later he sent a letter to the IAEA that stated the inspectors would not be permitted to enter sites that are not linked to Iran’s nuclear activities.”8 Rouhani claimed the government had concerns about allowing inspectors access to military facilities and the implications for Iranian sovereignty.9
In January 2004, the IAEA announced Iran was still acquiring materials to build centrifuges. Tehran claimed its pledge to suspend uranium enrichment applied to its nuclear fuel-making plant in Natanz, but not to assembling centrifuges in case it decides to resume the production of enriched uranium.
IAEA reports in February and March 2004 said additional omissions by Iran had been discovered, including:
1 A more advanced centrifuge design (P-2 centrifuges) than previously declared.
2 Associated research, manufacturing, and testing activities.
3 The production of polonium-210, which can be used in the design of nuclear weapons
4 Two mass spectrometers used in the laser enrichment program
5 Designs for the construction of hot cells at the Arak heavy water research reactor.
Iran also had failed to provide information to the IAEA on the “full scope of Iranian nuclear activities” and a “complete centrifuge R&D chronology.”10
Rouhani reiterated Iran’s suspension of uranium enrichment was only “voluntary” and it would “one day resume enriching uranium.”11
Rouhani also warned that the protocol signed by Iran could be reversed. “The protocol has to go through its legal procedure. It has to be debated and approved by the parliament.”12 A week later, Rouhani said Iran would accept inspectors on March 27 without condition.
At the end of his tenure as top negotiator, Iran began to enrich uranium at the Isfahan facility, which it had refused to stop work on. Yellowcake was injected into equipment for making uranium tetrafluoride or UF4. The next step in the enrichment process is to convert the gas to uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which then is fed into centrifuges.
In a July 2005 interview with Kayhan, an Iranian daily newspaper, Rouhani acknowledged that Iran, while negotiating with Europe the previous two years, had improved its nuclear technology.13
Duping the West
Rouhani meeting European leaders in early 2005. While conducting talks with the European leaders, Rouhani kept Iran’s nuclear weapons development program moving forward and avoided referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
OIAC Sponsors 2015 New York Rally Against Rouhani
Several months after stepping down as Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Rouhani disclosed in a speech how he had duped the west during nuclear negotiations, keeping Iran’s nuclear program on track while avoiding referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
Rouhani’s speech was published in the fall of 2005 by Rahbord. At the time, Rouhani was managing editor of Rahbord, published by the Center for Strategic Research.
As explained by Mohammad Mohaddessin, head the NCRI’s Foreign Affair Committee, Rouhani’s remarks reveal that Iran’s mullahs clearly sought to deceive the international community from the onset of negotiations and that they were fully aware if they were completely forthcoming and transparent, they would be referred to the UN Security Council for violations of the NPT.
Rouhani “boasted that while talks were taking place in Tehran, Iran was able to complete the installation of equipment for conversion of yellowcake – a key stage in the nuclear fuel process – at its Isfahan plant but at the same time convince European diplomats that nothing was afoot.”14
Below are excerpts from Rouhani’s speech. Click here for a copy of his full remarks.
“In a meeting of the state’s leaders at 2003, it was discussed that according to the IAEA resolution of September 2003, we had to provide a complete picture of our nuclear activities of previous years to the IAEA….The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the UN Security Council. And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security Council for not implementing the resolution.”
Partners Informed IAEA
“Most of the activities that we had carried out and had not informed the IAEA about them were reported to the IAEA by countries that were our partners in those activities. For instance we had implemented some plans with the Chinese and according to the safeguard regulations we had to report them to the IAEA and we had not done so. These were reported to the IAEA by the Chinese and they told us that they had informed the IAEA. In addition, the Russians had also already informed the IAEA of some of the equipment that we had purchased from them.”
Suspensions and Technical Difficulties
“Another issue that was raised was the fact that the Europeans gradually realized that we did not accept suspension in the areas that we had technical difficulties and only agreed to suspension in the areas that we faced no technical problems. This is a point that they point out to in the talks recently. For instance, we completed Isfahan that is the section for U.C.F. and the factory that converts yellow cake to UF4 and UF6 was completed during the suspension period. When we were negotiating with Europeans in Tehran, we were still installing some of the equipments in Isfahan site and there was plenty of work to be done to complete this site and finish the work there. In reality, by creating a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan.”
“I should tell you that we need some time to implement our capabilities. I mean if we could complete the fuel cycle and make it fait- accompli for the world, then the whole situation would be different.”
After Rouhani’s speech was published, Ali Akbari, a regime strategist close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, accused Rouhani of divulging state secrets that would lead to its referral to the UN Security Council.
August 2002 – The NCRI announced at a press conference the existence of two undisclosed nuclear facilities that could be used to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel. One facility in Natanz and a heavy water production plant in Arak.
2003 – The IAEA conducted a series of inspections, finding Iran in breach of its obligations on reporting of nuclear material and its processing and use. The IAEA announced a deadline of October 31, 2003 for Iran to disclose information on its nuclear program, agree to tougher inspections, and suspend its nuclear enrichment program and reprocessing activities.
October 6, 2003 – Rouhani was placed in charge of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team. Two weeks later, he agreed to IAEA’s demands.
December 18, 2003 – Iran signed the additional Protocol.
March 2004 – The IAEA passed a resolution on Iran’s continuing failure to disclose details on its enrichment and reprocessing efforts.
August 2005 – Iran resumed its enrichment program at Isfahan, in breach of IAEA Resolutions and commitments required in Paris Agreement of November 2004. Iran formally found to be in non-compliance. Still IAEA did not report the violation to the Security Council.
Below are selected statements by Rouhani on Iran’s nuclear program:
* “Iran is prepared to be transparent in its cooperation with IAEA to clarify all ambiguities on Iran’s nuclear program.”15
* “We will never abandon nuclear technology.”16
* “We will pursue enrichment, but to reassure the world we have agreed to suspend our uranium enrichment activities for a certain time.”17
* “When we deem it necessary, we will resume.”18
* “We will suspend our activities for as long as we deem necessary, and we will resume our activities if we judge it necessary. This could be for one day, one year or longer. The decision is ours.”19
* “In order to enhance our credibility, we have made a decision to sign a supplementary agreement.”20
* Rouhani said Iran had made a decision to “eliminate all concerns and fears and carry out all of its future nuclear programs within the framework of international rules and regulations.”21
* “We have said clearly that any phrase in a resolution aimed at transforming the voluntary pledge by Iran to suspend uranium enrichment into a legal obligation will be unacceptable to us.”22
* “We must arrive at a stage where the (IAEA) board of governors totally close the file on Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and take this off the agenda.” Additionally, he asserted, “the international community has to accept Iran in the world nuclear club” and “the Islamic republic has the inalienable right to master its own enrichment cycle.”23
1) “Iran Accused of Secret Nuclear Plants,” UPI, August 14, 2002.
2) “Are Iran’s Nuclear Promises Real?” Los Angles Times, November 21, 2003.
3) “Iran Failed to Disclose Its Atomic Steps, Agency Says,” Los Angles Times, November 11, 2003.
4) “E3/EU Statment on the Iran Nuclear Issues,” IAEA, Berlin, January 12, 2006.
5) “Conservative Election Victory Will Simplify Engagement with Iran: Diplomats,” Agence France Presse, February 18, 2004.
6) “Iran Determined to Take Measures for Joining NPT Additional Protocol: Official,” Xinhua General News Service, October 21, 2003.
7) “Top Iranian Official Insists Iran Is Respecting Nuclear Safeguards,” Agence France Presse, January 15, 2004.
8) “IAEA Inspectors Denied Access to Non-Nuclear Sites: Iranian Official,” Agence France Presse, November 9, 2003.
9) “Iran Expresses “Readiness” to Allow Tougher Nuke Probes, Answer Suspicious,” Agence France Presse, October 16, 2003.
10) “The Test of the Iran Resolution Passed by the IAEA Board of Governors,” Associated Press, March 13, 2004.
11) “Iran Warns it Will ‘Not Accept’ Being Branded in Violation of NPT,” Agence France Presse, March 9, 2004.
12) “Iran Wants UN Nuclear Agency to Wrap Up Its Look into Iranian Program,” Associated Press, March 7, 2004.
13) “Iran Warns Europeans to Respect Its Rights on Nuclear Program,” New York Times, July 24, 2005.
14) “How We Duped the West, by Iran’s Nuclear Negotiator,” Sunday Telegraph, March 5, 2006.
15) “Iran Voices Readiness to Cooperate with IAEA on Nuclear Treaty,” Xinhua General News Service, October 16, 2003.
16) “Iran Will Not Abandon Enrichment Activities for Good: Top Official,” Agence France Presse, October 23, 2003.
18) “Conservative Election Victory Will Simplify Engagement With Iran: Diplomats,” Agence France Presse, February 18, 2004.
19) “Iran Reserves Right to Resume Uranium Enrichment: Official,” Agence France Presse, October 21, 2003.
20) “Iran to Suspend Uranium Enrichment Program, Agrees to Sign IAEA Protocol,” Xinhua General News Service, November 10, 2003.
22) “Russia, Iran Again Put Off Pact on Nuclear Power Reactor,” Agence France Presse, November 19, 2003.
23) “Iran Seeking Full Closure of Nuclear Dossier at IAEA,” Agence France Presse, March 7, 2004
Terrorism & Assassinations
Rouhani was Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) from 1989-2005. The SNSC is Iran’s highest national security organization. It coordinates “policy, intelligence, social, cultural and economic activities pertaining to defense and security policies.”1 The organization has 13 members, including the head of the Armed Forces, Chief of the Army, Minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chief of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC). Rouhani was appointed to the Council in 1991 by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei soon after it was created and was his representative on the Council.
The SNSC has a parallel organization called the Committee for Special Operations (Omure Vijeh Committee) [aka Special Affairs Committee] to deal with “extralegal” actions. The panel essentially has the same members as the SNSC and is “merely a change of name,” according to Abolghasem Mesbahi, a high ranking Iranian intelligence officer who defected and presented testimony about the organization.2
When Rouhani was a member of the Committee for Special Operations (CSO), it regularly authorized “extralegal” terrorist attacks and assassinations. As a result, the U.S. State Department named Iran as the “most active of the state sponsors [of terrorism].”
As a member of the SNSC and Committee for Special Operations, Rouhani was directly involved in many of the terrorist attacks and assassinations. Only these panels have the authority to make decisions on security matters of such major importance.3
The Supreme Leader has ultimate authority over the decisions made by the SNSC, and as Khamenei’s representative on the Council, Rohani would necessarily have been involved in the deliberations on terrorist attacks and assassinations.
Eliminating Political Opponents
One of the special issues handled by the Committee for Special Operations “was the suppression and elimination of political opposition to the Islamic Republic,” according to a report by Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC).4 It stated that after Khomeini’s death in June 1989, “the responsibility for recommending individual assassinations fell to the Special Affairs Committee.” Additionally:
Once the Committee’s recommendation was approved by the Supreme Leader, an individual committee member would be charged with implementing the decision with the assistance of the Ministry of Intelligence.”5
IHRDC said the Special Affairs Committee is linked to the murder of at least 162 political opponents outside Iran.6 Given Rouhani’s position on the SNSC and Special Affairs Committee, he had to have been involved in many of the executions on foreign soil “in contravention of national and international law.”7
Rouhani is on record supporting the elimination of political opponents aboard. In a 1994 interview with Ettela’ at, an Iranian newspaper, he said, “[Iran] will not hesitate to destroy the activities of counterrevolutionary groups abroad.”8
The Kurds Assasination
Rouhani was a member of the Committee for Special Operations, an elite group of leaders that approved extralegal actions, including the assassination of Sadegh Sharafkandi.
Sadegh Sharafkandi, Secretary General of the Iranian Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDPI) and three Kurdish exiles were gunned down by masked gunmen in a Berlin restaurant on September 17, 1992. A German court in April 1997 determined the attack was perpetrated by “the highest levels of the Iranian State,” implicating without names Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Refanjani.9
The attack occurred while Rouhani was a member of the Special Affairs Committee and Secretary of SNSC. As such, he would have been involved in the decision to authorize the murders of the Kurdish leader and exiles.
In response to the German court ruling, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all EU countries except Greece recalled their ambassadors from Iran. In retaliation, Rouhani announced the cancellation of a planned visit to Tehran by an economic delegation from Australia and suspended trade contracts with New Zealand. Germany expelled four diplomats and Iran recalled its Ambassador in Bonn and also expelled four diplomats.
Rouhani called for a “total revision of ties with Germany.” He urged a ban on all purchases from Germany, which exported some $1.3 billion in goods to Iran.
Israel Embassy Bombing
On March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber smashed a vehicle filled with explosives into the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding another 242.
Argentina officials believe they have “convincing evidence” Iran was involving in the terrorist bombing.10 It’s believed Iran financed and planned the attack, which was then carried out by the Islamic Jihad.
Mohsen Rabbani, the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Argentina, likely planned and organized the attack. He also was the mastermind in the 1994 attack on the Jewish Community center in Buenos Aires.11
“Several Iranian witnesses reportedly told the judge [investigating the attack] that the Iranian diplomat [Rabbani] had falsified passports and even given the orders to terrorists who carried out the attacks.”12 Argentine government intelligence agents reportedly intercepted telephone conversations that originated inside the Iranian Embassy “strongly suggesting the complicity of Mr. Rabbani in the bombings,” according to the New York Times.13
The Argentine government has yet to adequately investigate the embassy attack. Available evidence strongly indicates Iran was involved in the truck bombing. And authority to conduct the attack would have to have been authorized by Iran’s Special Affairs Committee, during which time Rouhani was a member.
Jewish Center Suicide Bombing
More than 85 people were killed and hundreds of others injured in the 1994 terrorist attack on the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building, instigated by Iran’s Committee for Special Operations when Rouhani was a member.
On July 18, 1994, a suicide truck bomber detonated a huge bomb while parked near the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentine (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds of others.
The decision to mount the attack was made at a meeting of the Committee for Special Operations on August 14, 1993, according to testimony by Abolghasem Mesbahi, a high ranking Iranian intelligence officer who defected and later presented testimony on the incident.14 He said the Committee for Special Operations regularly “met under the chairmanship of Ali Khamenei and whose other members were Rafsanjani, Mir Hejazi, Rouhani, Velayati, and Fallahijan.”15
On July 18, the day the final decision was made to attack the AMIA center, Rouhani allegedly was not present, according to Attorney General Alberto Nisman.16 The decision to carry out the attack was made by Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Hashemi Rafsanjani.17
At the time, Rouhani was Khamenei’s representative on the SNSC and was Rafsanjani’s top national security advisor. Rouhani would have been present in deliberations about the attack. According to Reuel Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, Rouhani “certainly would have been aware of all the discussions that led to the attack.”18
Thus, while Rouhani, as Secretary of the SNSC, may not have personally make the final decision, he was involved in discussions on the incident and thus must be viewed as a co-conspirator of the terrorist attack on the Jewish center.
In November 2007, Interpol placed the following seven people on its “red notice” list who are officially accused of participating in the attack:
* Imad Fayez Moughnieh – a senior leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah
* Ali Fallahijan – former Minister of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)
* Mohsen Rabbani – Cultural Attache in the Iranian Embassy in Argentina
* Ahmad Reza Asghari – third secretary of the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires
* Ahmad Vahidi – then-commander of the Ouds Force, a special unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard
* Mohsen Rezai – then head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and later member of the SNSC
* Ali Akbar Velayati – then Iran’s Foreign Minister. In 2013, Rezai and Velayati were candidates for president of Iran.
Kohbar Towers Truck Bombing
Rouhani has never been brought to justice for his participation in the terrorist attack on Khobar Towers in 1996, which killed 19 Americans and injured hundreds of others.
A massive truck bomb exploded near Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring nearly 400 others. As in the suicide bombing of the Jewish center, the attack on Khobar Towers is of such magnitude that it could not have been undertaken without the approval of the SNSC/Committee for Special Operations, to which Rouhani was then a member.
According to then-FBI Director Louis Freeh, there is “direct evidence of Iran’s complicity” in the attack. Top security ministers, he said, even selected the target.19
“Senior members of the Iranian government, including Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and the Spiritual Leader’s [Supreme Leader’s] office,” Freeh said, “had selected Khobar as their target and commissioned the Saudi Hezbollah to carry out the operation.”20
The FBI was the lead US agency that investigated the Khobar Tower terrorist attack. The Saudi Security Office, also conducted an investigation of the incident, leading to the arrest of six of the bombers. They “admitted they had been trained by the Iranian external security service (IRGC) in the Beka Valley,” according to Freeh.21
The bombers were given passports at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus. To carry out the attack, they received $250,000 from Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps General Ahmad Sharifi.
Clinton Refused to Assist Investigation
After the attack, President Clinton declared that “no stone would be left unturned” to bring the terrorist bombers to justice. The Saudi Security Office informed the FBI about the six bombers. Before they could be interviewed by FBI agents, however, a request had to be made by President Clinton to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
Freeh passed along this information to Clinton and waited for him to make the call. But month and month passed, without any action by Clinton. “For 30 months nothing happened,” Freeh said. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national security adviser, never once asked how the FBI investigation was proceeding.
With President Clinton unwilling to help in the investigation, Freeh turned to former President George H.W. Bush for assistance. After being briefed, Bush readily contacted Abdullah and asked the crown prince to allow FBI agents to interview the detained bombers. Abdullah agreed and weeks later agents met with the bombers, collecting direct evidence of Iran’s complicity in the terrorist attack.
After gathering the evidence, Freeh advised Berger that he had obtained proof Iran was responsible for the Khobar Towers attack. Berger, according to Freeh, offered no congratulations on a job well done. Instead, he inquired, “Who knows about this?” He then discounted the evidence, stating “That’s just heresy.”23
President Clinton and Sandy Berger did not want to hear that Iran was responsible to murdering 19 Americans. Clinton was hoping to achieve a rapprochement with Iran’s mullahs and didn’t want any complications blocking this effort, even if Americans had been murdered.
And so Iran’s top leaders – including Rouhani – were not named and held accountable for the terrorist attack. Instead, the Clinton Administration made repeated concessions to Iran to curry their favor. While the mullahs welcomed the actions, they ultimately refused to establish normal relations with the US.
The following operatives of the Khobar Towers attack were indicted for murder, conspiracy, and other charges in June 2001:
* Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Mughassil – The FBI is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He drove the truck bomb to the Towers than jumped out and dashed to a waiting car and escaped. He is head of the military wing of the pro-Iranian Saudi Hizballah.
* Abdelkarim Hussein Mohaed Al-Nasser – Leader of Saudi Hizballah, the FBI has a $5 million reward for his capture. .
* Ali Saed Bin Ali El-Hoorie – He was the passenger in the truck bomb and is also on the FBI’s most wanted list.
* Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub – He is a member of Saudi Hizbollah and still a fugitive named on the FBI wanted list.
Freeh said the two primary leaders of the Khobar Tower’s attack – Al-Mughassil and Al-Nasser – are today “living comfortably in Iran.”57 The terrorist bombers have yet to be brought to justice, as well as co-conspirators including Rouhani and other top leaders of Iran.
1) Office of Criminal Investigations AMIA CASE,” Investigations Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, October 25, 2006.
4) “No Safe Haven: Iran’s Global Assassination Campaign,” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, May 2008.
9) International News, Associated Press, April 13, 1997.
10) “20 Years After Bombing of Israel’s Embassy in Argentina: WJC Leaders Call for Justice,” States News Service, March 16, 2012.
11) “Argentina Arrests 8 Iranians and Ousts 7 in Anti-Jewish Bombings,” New York Times, May 17, 1998.
14) “Office of Criminal Investigations AMIA CASE,” Investigations Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, October 25, 2006.
16) “Iran’s Rouhani Had No Role in 1994 Argentina Bombing, Prosecutor Says,” The Times of Israel, June 25, 2013.
17) “Iran’s President-Elect Implicated in 1994 Argentina Bombing,” The Times of Israel, June 20, 2013.
19) “Khobar Towers,” by Louis Freeh, Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2006.
Chemical, Biological Weapons
Rouhani was a member of the Supreme National Security Council when it authorized the development of biological/chemical weapons in 1991.
In 2003, Rouhani falsely claimed, “Weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security strategy.”1 Rouhani was a member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Iran’s top decision-making panel on defense and national security issues, when it authorized the development of chemical/biological weapons.
In 1991, Rouhani personally oversaw the implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive National Microbial Defense Plan, which expanded the country’s nascent biological/chemical weapons research program into a full-fledged weapons development program.
Details of the Plan were first revealed as a press conference by the NCRI in Washington DC on May 15, 2003.
Iran established a chemical/biological weapons research program in 1985, during the Iran-Iraq War. Research facilities were set up at Tehran’s Pasteur Institute and Vira Laboratory (later renamed Sina Industry), under the direction of Gholamhossein Riazi. They succeeded in producing aflatoxin, a highly carcinogenic agent.2
Until the early 1990s, Iran’s chemical/biological weapons program focused on scientific research. The Comprehensive National Microbial Defense Plan, a four-page document, assigned specific tasks to military organizations and ministries to expand Iran’s chemical/biological capabilities.
Imam Hussein University, a military complex controlled by the IRGC, was tasked with developing weapons using anthrax, aflatoxin, smallpox, typhoid fever, plague, and chloromicrobes. Malek Ashtar University was directed to work on genetic cloning research.
Iran created the Special Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Industries organization within the Ministry of Defense to produce biological and chemical weapons, as well as procure needed technology.3
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was directed to procure foreign technology on WMDs, especially biological weapons. To assist Iran, chemical/biological weapons experts were recruited from China, North Korea, India, and Russia.
A US intelligence revealed that Iran had started production of weaponized anthrax spores, and was investigating other pathogens, including smallpox for its bioweapons arsenal.4
Other Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s chemical/biological weapons program are Milad Industry (in Mard-Abad), Be’ethat Industry (in Qom), and Sard-shimi Industry (in Shiraz).
In 2003, the NCRI said Iran intended to increase the number of personnel working on WMDs from 3,000 to 11,000.
Iran signed the Biological Weapons Convention on April 10, 1972 and it was ratified August 22, 1973.
1) “Nuclear Arms Have ‘No Place’ in iran’s Strategy, Top Official Insists,” Agence France Presse, June 4, 2003.
2) A 1989 US intelligence report said Iranian agents attempted to purchase two strains of fungi from Canada and the Netherlands, which could be used to produce T-2 mycotoxins. The samples, the report said, were likely for ‘an Iranian government agency specializing in biological warfare.” See “Iran’s Nuclear Deterrent: Weapons of Mass Destruction Program,” By David Eshel, Defense Update, April 4, 2004.
3) Two Swiss firms, Bio Engineering and MBR Company, sold fermenters to Iran in the 1990s. See Eshel’s article listed below.
4) “Iran’s National Deterrent: Weapons of Mass Destruction Program,” by David Eshel, Defense Update, April 4, 2004.
Rouhani Not a Moderate
1999 Student Protests
Iranian students demonstrating in Tehran in 1999 before the unrest turned violent
Rouhani supported a late night attack by police and Hezbollah on a dormitory at Tehran University that killed two students and injured at least 20 others. The students had organized a brief rally to protest the Justice Ministry’s closure of a daily newspaper that had published details on the government’s role in killing Iranian intellectuals. Rouhani condemned subsequent student demonstrations protesting police brutality and said they should be crushed “mercilessly and monumentally.”
When student demonstrations erupted across Iran in July 1999, Rouhani sided with the hardliners, while “reformists” backed the students.
Events began on July 9, 1999, when some 200 students at Tehran University organized a brief rally outside a dormitory to protest the Justice Ministry’s closure of Salam, a daily newspaper that strongly supported President Mohammed Khatami. Students also protested against legislation supported by hard-liners to further limit media freedoms. Days earlier, Salam, a had published details on the Ministry of Intelligence and Security’s role in the death of Iranian intellectuals.
In response, Iranian police and “hard-line activists” [Hezbollah] attacked a dormitory late at night, beating students with clubs. Witnesses said authorities broke down doors and shattered windows, fired tear gas, and set a room on fire. Two students were killed, more than 20 were injured, and scores were arrested.1 (In some news accounts, five to eight students were killed.)
An estimated 10,000 students amassed in front of Tehran University to protest the police crackdown. Students waved a blood-stained shirt, shouting “Shame on the police” and “End this despotism.”
President Khatami labeled the attack an “ugly and bitter incident” and expressed “deep regret.”2 The Higher Education Minister condemned the police raid. “The tragic incident of the security forces entering Tehran University campus and their beating up of innocent students at midnight on Friday…is not acceptable under any basis,” he said. Hours after issuing the statement, he tendered his resignation.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s personal representative to Iranian universities condemned “members of law enforcement forces and irresponsible elements” who stormed the dormitories.
The protests continued. On the third day they spread to the other cities of Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Hamedan. In Tehran, more than 10,000 students, many wearing masks, demonstrated against the crackdown. President Khatami called the assault on the dormitory an “ugly and bitter incident” and expressed “deep regret.” Two of the security chiefs responsible to the attack were fired.3
A crowd of more than 25,000 students and supporters took to the streets on the fourth day – the largest mass demonstration since the ’79 Revolution. The students demanded the resignation General Hedayat Lotfian, the police chief who ordered the crackdown.
About 5,000 people, including 2,000 university staff, staged a sit-in at Tehran University. In the streets, students chanted “Freedom” and “Down with Dictatorship.” They demanded the resignation of Supreme Leader Khamenei. Others called on the mullahs to end the clearance process that restricts who can run for office, and lifting restrictions on the press.
Unwilling to allow the peaceful demonstrations to continue, police on the next day blocked access to Tehran’s central square. Police in helicopters used loudspeakers to demand demonstrators vacate the streets, warning of arrest. The students were then attacked by riot police and baton-wielding gangs called “Islamic vigilantes.” Crowds were dispersed with tear gas. Two demonstrators were killed, scores were injured, and more than 1,000 people were arrested.
That evening President Khatami turned against the students. In a message read on state television, he said student leaders were guilty of “attacking the foundations of the regime and of wanting to foment tensions and disorder.” Student slogans had targeted “the fundamental principles of the government and political progress.”4
Khatami blamed students for damaging public property. He claimed three banks and two buses had been set on fire and a mosque ransacked. Students suspended further protests. A university student council issued a series of demands, including the firing of the national police chief, a public trial for the two police officers who were fired for ordering an attack on the student dormitory, and the release of the protesters killed in the rallies.
Rouhani Strikes Back
A government sponsored march was organized the following day to demonstrate support for the Islamic Republic. Workers were given the day off and bused to the “unity rally,” which totaled some 100,000 people.
The crowd roared “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and “Death to hypocrites,” a term used by the mullahs to disparage the PMOI. Others chanted, “Our blood is our gift to our leader.”
The Los Angeles Times reported the rally “featured senior clerics from Iran’s most conservative bodies – the judiciary, parliament, and security branches, all allied with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”5
Rouhani was one of the featured speakers. He made no mention of the ruthless midnight raids and student deaths. Instead, he lashed out at the student demonstrators, telling the crowd, “At dusk yesterday we received a decisive revolutionary order to crush mercilessly and monumentally any move to these opportunist elements wherever it may occur. From today our people shall witness how in the arena our law enforcement force…shall deal with these opportunists and riotous elements, if they simply dare to show their faces”6
Rouhani called the demonstrators who had damaged public property “bandits and saboteurs.” He said “We will resolutely and decisively quell any attempt to rebel.”7
He said “Those who destroyed public property and went on the rampage and committed aggression against the Islamic system will be tried in our courts as mohareb and mofsed (opponents of the republic).”8 Those found guilty would be hanged.9
Rouhani stated, “Our revolution needs a thorough cleanup, and this will help advance the cause of the regime and the revolution.”10 Government authorities subsequently arrested student leaders while at their homes and an Iranian court sentenced four of them to death.11
Rouhani’s harsh words and demands for retribution were not those of a moderate, but of a hardline conservative. The students were protesting the hardliner’s decision to shut down the pro-Khatami newspaper and further restrictions on media freedoms. Rouhani sided with the hardliners and against the students and pro-Khatami faction.
Prior to his candidacy for president, the news media regularly described Rouhani as a “hard-liner” and a “conservative.”
* “On 4 April, the Secretary of the Supreme Security Council – Hassan Rowhani, a noted conservative – said that while Iran is against the Middle East peace process, it will do nothing to thwart it.”12
* “Instead, Supreme National Council chief Hassan Rowhani – a conservative close to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – was charged with handling the issue.”13
* “But its secretarial board which issued the ban is headed by conservative Hassan Rowhani.”14
* “Mr. Rowhani is a pragmatic conservative and is reasonably well known in the country.”15
* “The board is headed by conservative Hassan Rowhani, but the full council is normally chaired by the moderate Khatami.”16
* “The Council’s strong-man, ayatollah Hassan Rowhani, kept his job as the organization’s secretary.”17
* “Both clerics, Rowhani and Rafsanjani are also seen as pragmatic conservatives.”18
* “Those responsible for violent clashes with the security forces here on Monday and Tuesday are “bandits and saboteurs,” said Hassan Rouhani, the conservative deputy speaker of parliament.”19
* “Among the conservative heavyweights to lose their seats in 2000 was Hassan Rowhani, now head of the Supreme National Security Council and being promoted as a possible new figurehead for the conservatives.”20
* “Hassan Rouhani, a conservative cleric and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, told state radio on Saturday that the lifting of sanctions on non-oil luxury items was an improper attempt to reward certain forces inside Iran.”21
Repugnant and Unacceptable
When US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright invited Tehran to enter a “new relationship” with America, Rouhani said “We must condemn this new and flagrant interference in our affairs, this repugnant and unacceptable statement.”
Rouhani joined political hard-liners in attacking a speech in 2000 by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in which she invited Tehran to enter a “new relationship” with America.
The Clinton Administration was seeking a rapprochement with Iran’s mullahs. By making concessions to Iran, it hoped to bolster then President Khatami and open the door to better relations.
Albright’s speech was not all rosy. She voiced America’s concern about the involvement of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the Intelligence Ministry in terrorism attacks.
Khatami’s Administration described America’s overture as a “positive step and a prelude to a new situation.”22 It said it would respond by allowing imports of grains and medicine from America.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, a conservative member of Iran’s parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee, described Albright’s speech as “interesting.” He said here statement was “something new and, as such, merits careful examination.”23
Rouhani aligned with the hard-liners, describing Albright’s speech as “only a tiny step which appears positive but is in fact completely negative.”24 He said, “We must condemn this new and flagrant interference in our affairs, this repugnant and unacceptable statement.”25
Rouhani said Albright’s speech was “full of irksome, threatening and interventionist elements which call our institutions into question.”
When Rouhani traveled to New York in 2013 to deliver a speech at the United Nations, Rouhani hosted a dinner at the One UN Hotel, where the Iranian delegation was staying.
One of the invited guests at the dinner was anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan. The previous year Farrakhan dined with then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejed.
1) “At Least 20 Injured in Iran University Clash,” Associated Press, July 9, 1999.
2) “Iran in Turmoil After Three Students Reported Dead in Clashes with Police,” Agence France Presse, July 10, 1999.
3) “Iran Fires Security Chiefs Responsible for Dormitory Raid,” Associated Press, July 11, 1999.
4) “Khatami Vows to Put Down Student Protests in Iran,” Agence France Presse, July 13, 1999.
5) “Iranian Hardliners Hit Streets: Conservatives Gain the Upper Hand with Touch Measures,” Calgary Herald (reprint of Los Angeles Times article by Robin Wright), July 15, 1999.
6) “Iran’s Moderate President?” National Review, June 17, 2013.
7) “Rally Backs Iran’s Clerics,” Chicago Sun-Times, July 15, 1999.
8) “Iran Hard-Liners Show Strength Over Reformers with Massive Rally,” Associated Press, July 14, 1999.
10) “Iranian Hard-Liners Take Over the Streets; Crowd May Mean Trouble for Student Reformers,” Orlando Sentinel, July 15, 1999.
11) “4 Activists Are to Die in Iran, More Could Face Death After Pro-Democracy Protests, a Judge Said,” Reuters, September 13, 1999.
12) “Government in New Diplomatic Gestures,” World Markets Analysis, April 7, 2000.
13) “Conservative Election Victory Will Simplify Engagement with Iran: Diplomats,” Agence France Presse, February 18, 2004.
14) “Islamic Iran Plunges into Deepest Political Crisis Since (sic),” Agence France Presse, July 11, 2002.
15) “The Political Scene: Local Attention is Turning to the Presidential Election,” Country Report Select, November 18, 2008.
16) “Iran Reform Paper Suspended for Reporting Cleric’s Resignation,” Agence France Presse, July 13, 2002.
17) “Iran Opts to Tough It Out,” Intelligence Online, July 18, 2003.
18) “Prominent Iranian Hardliner, Reformist Join Presidential Race,” Agence France Press, January 3, 2005.
19) “Arrested Persons to be Considered “Counter-Revolutionaries,” Agence France Press, July 14, 1999.
20) “New Elections May Undo Reformist Sweep of 2000,” Agence France Presse, February 15, 2004.
21) “Albright ‘Throws a Rock in Troubled Iranian Waters,’” Mideast Mirror, March 20, 2000.
22) “Iran Accuses US of ‘Lack of Honesty’ in Latest Overture,’” Agence France Presse, March 21, 2000.
23) Iran Gives Qualified Welcome to US Easing of Sanctions,” Agence France Presse, March 18, 2000.
Below are quotes by Rouhani:
United States an Enemy
“It is the Americans who should adopt a policy to enable us to resume ties with them,” Rouhani said. “America is now considered as an enemy which threatens the Islamic Republic of Iran.”1
Hostility Toward Iranians
“The United States never speaks uniquely out of its concern for the future of the Iranian people,” Mr. Rowhani said. “It pursues its own interest and tries to show hostility toward the Iranian people….The last American presidential elections, which took place in truly catastrophic and dramatic conditions, do not allow the United States to talk about elections in other countries.”2
Rouhani said the Iranian people’s enmity with the United States is an historical, revolutionary, ideological and religious matter.3
In response to Clinton’s re-election, Rouhani said, “Unfortunately we have experience with both Democrats and the Republican, but we have not seen anything except hostility toward Iran.”4
The US imposed economic sanctions against Iran in 1995, in response to its support of terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons. In response, Rouhani said: “Washington and the Israeli regime are now publishing scandalous lies about Iran to divert international attention from what they are doing in the Middle East,” He warned the US and Israel that “should they be tempted to antagonize Iran, the people and the armed forces of the country would give them a crushing response.”5
”The Afghan nation is beset by conspiracies plotted outside its borders,” Rouhani said. ”America’s involvement in the Afghan crisis today is quite clear. That is why America has kept totally silent in the face of so many atrocities committed by the Taliban. This demonstrates that in the Afghan crisis, the Americans are seeking their own objectives. ‘Considering the Vienna Convention and the U.N. Charter as well as the fact that presently no government rules over Afghanistan, Iran considers as lawful any action for restoration of its rights and also those of its citizens.”6
Rouhani accused the US of backing the Taliban to create problems on Iran’s eastern borders, give Islam a bad name, and gain control of oil resources in the region. Rouhani said the Taliban “who know nothing about Islam, have been entrusted by Washington to tarnish the Moslem religion. The American officials’ and media’s silence on the latest developments in Afghanistan speaks volumes about US backing for the Taliban.”7
American Treacherous Interference
In November 1999, Iran’s parliament, under the leadership or Rouhani, approved legislation to allow Iranians to file lawsuits against foreign governments. Rouhani said, “All Iranian nationals who have suffered from the treacherous interference of America can file lawsuits against it.”8
Camp David Accords
“The main obstacle in the way of Tehran-Cairo ties is the Camp David Accord,” Rouhani told Moroccan Ambassador Muhammad Az-Zerval.9
Not One Person in Prison
Rouhani told Mr. de Villepin that there was “not one person in prison in Iran except when there is a judgment by a judge following a trial.”10
Tool of Big Powers
Rouhani said he had no faith in the UN or its human rights committee. He said “The human rights issue has become a tool in the hands of the big powers to exert political pressure on certain countries.” Rouhani made the comment to Maurice Danby Copithorne, UN Special Representative for Iran Human Rights, after he cited a large number of executions, cases of torture, and inhuman treatment of prisoners.11
Will Cooperate Unless Punished
Rouhani said “Iran is ready to cooperate with the EU on human rights issues in case that no resolution is involved against Iran.” In other words, as long as the EU does not punish Iran for its human rights record, Iran will cooperate on the human rights.12
He said “Any foreign interference or pressure on Iran will not work….Iran has paid a heavy price for independence. The best method for bringing about mutual understanding on human rights is to develop constructive cooperation in this respect.”13
Iran Iraq War (Mullahs’ War)
Rouhani claimed Iran’s mullahs never attacked any country. “On the contrary, we were attacked directly by Iraq and the US,” he said, referring to Iraq’s invasion of Iran in September 1980 and later the US intervention in the war.14
Rouhani conveniently fails to mention that after 20 months Iraq sued for peace. Iran’s mullahs could have ended the war under favorable terms but instead they attacked Iraq, hoping to topple Saddam Hussein and install a theocratic regime. The war continued another six years to 1988. As a result of Rouhani and other top-ranking mullahs, millions of Iranian needlessly died. (See www.mullahswar.com)
”The only solution to the Iraq situation … is the establishment of real democracy” in the Iraq, and ”the aim of the West was only to safeguard its own interests.” Rouhani criticized Kuwait for its role in the Persian Gulf crisis, and said ”the United States is responsible for the position in which the Iraqi people find themselves today.”15
Warren Christopher’s Ignorance
In June 1993, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Iran was a “serious problem” and was seeking weapons of mass destruction. Rouhani responded stating that “such stupid remarks are merely evidence of Mr. Christopher’s ignorance and his interpretation of political issues.”16
Britain a Tool of Washington
Rouhani said Iran’s mullahs were surprised that Britain had made “undocumented and hollow claims [that Iran was having covert contacts with the IRA] at a time when other European countries are adopting positive views on their relations with Iran.” He said the British government was “becoming a tool in the hands of Washington and Israel intelligence services.”17
Gingrich Immature and Childish
Rouhani said Speaker of the House of Representative Newt Gingrich was guilty of “parochial ignorance” for proposing an anti-ballistic missile defense system to counter Iranian missiles. Rouhani said Gingrich’s remarks were a “prime example of state terrorism” and said the Speaker was “immature and childish” for proposing the new weapon system.18
Camp David Accords
Rouhani, in a meeting with Moroccan Ambassador Muhammad Az-Zerval, termed as “libel” the western claims that Iran intervenes in the internal affairs of other countries such as Egypt and Algeria. “The main obstacle in the way of Tehran-Cairo ties is the Camp David Accord,” said Rouhani.19
America’s Domineering Leadership
“Whether wanted or not, the Islamic Republic of Iran is shouldering the leadership of many communities of the world. But Iran’s leadership is different from America’s domineering leadership.”20
Rowhani said ”representatives of the Palestinian nation fell into humiliation by signing compromise deals, and in fact committed treason against the holy Palestinian ideal.” Rowhani ”predicted that the Palestinian Intifada and the Islamic resistance in Lebanon, which are supported by Iran and Syria and the Islamic (world) at large, would bear fruit and restore the trampled rights of the Palestinians.”21
Oil & Enemies of Islam
In 1994, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced it would lift their boycott against companies in third countries that deal with Israel. The GCC included Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Rouhani said ending the boycott was a “contravention of the will of the Moslem nations in the region” and expressed his support for using oil as political and economic leverage against “the enemies of Islam….”22
Rouhani said “The recent decision of the (GCC) foreign ministers has prompted hatred and dissatisfaction of the Moslems and enchantment of the US and the Zionist regime.”23
In 1995, Rouhani said “The world’s nations should not keep silent over the U.S. military presence in sensitive regions of the Persian Gulf.” He said the US was planning to set up a “puppet regime” in Iraq. ”Whenever the Iraqi people reached a point to determine their own fate, the United States blocked their victory.”24
Rouhani said Iran and Russia are the two strongest states in the region. The development of Tehran-Moscow relations would play a key role in maintaining the balance at the regional and international levels. Close relations between Iran and Russia would help foil US conspiracies in the region.25
Rouhani said problems arising in Tehran-Ankara relations were caused by US-engineered plots.26
In 1998 Rouhani voiced support for UN arms inspections in Iraq. He said a peaceful solution to the arms inspections will help Iraq avert a possible military attack by the United States and also a disaster in the gulf region.27
Middle East Peace Process
Rouhani said in April 2000, “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not believe the so-called Middle East peace process to be effective, but so far has not taken any concrete steps to impede it.”28
“We have tackled the terrorism with the framework of international treaties and regulations, and I think we have a shining record in that field.”29
US-Allied Attacks in Afghanistan
Rouhani said “A long-time aim of the Americans has been to dominate the oil wells in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, and with the attacks against Afghanistan, it has found the excuse to gain a presence in the Caspian Sea…. America is completely aware of Iran’s forces and powers and abilities to react. It is unlikely that they would carry out any decisions” against an agreement not to violate Iran’s airspace. He said “We have warned on several occasions that Americans should not, under any circumstances, violate the Islamic republic of Iran’s airspace. The Americans have accepted that.”30
US Attacks Against Iraq
Rouhani said “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not consider attacks and wars a solution to problems.”31
“There is no doubt, the United States aims to have regime change in Iraq and exert domination over oil in the region,” Rouhani said. “Iran believes that it is for the Iraqi people, and not the others, to determine their own fate and decide on the system of their government.”32
UN Arms Inspections
Rouhani voiced support for UN arms inspectors in Iraq. He said “Iran is the victim of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and has currently several thousand injured soldiers, and for this reason Iran is willing to see Iraq being disarmed.” He said “All the regional states support the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on Iraqi disarmament in order to prevent outbreak of hostility in the region….Iran believes that the United Nations arms inspectors should be given enough time to complete their work.”33
Third Middle East War
Rouhani said “The Middle East has suffered heavy damage from the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the Persian Gulf war in 1991 and the Afghan war in 2001, and cannot tolerate another war because the economy of the regional states is still reeling under the shock- waves of the three wars.” He added, “Iran is concerned about outbreak of war in the region and wants the crisis to be settled through diplomatic means. All nations should speak with the same voice and put pressure on Iraq to disarm.”34
Richard Dalton, British Ambassador to Iran, told Rouhani in a meeting that the PMOI would have no place in Iraq after the war. Rouhani “smiled at the news” and said “This is a good sign. Iran’s concerns are being heard.”35
US Troops Worse than WMDs
Rouhani said “The US presence in the Middle East is worse than Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.”36
US Threat to Peace
Rouhani said “The US unilateral approach on the international stage and its ignoring the key role of the United Nations posed a serious threat to global peace and security.”37
During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani again refused to recognize that the Holocaust happened. Rouhani claimed that he is “not a historian” and that “it is the historians that should reflect on it.”38
“Iran is interested in reducing tensions, and if the U.S. displays its good will, better conditions will be witnessed in the future in mutual relations.”39
“US officials should take practical steps to prove goodwill toward Iran instead of conducting a volley of rhetoric.”40
1) “Top Iranian Official Sees No Sign of Resuming Ties with US,” Agence France Presse, January 28, 2004.
2) “Political Barbs Welcome an Iranian Visiting France,” New York Times, January 16, 2004.
3) “Iran Denies Report on Nuclear Weapon Production,” Xinha News Agency, January 12, 1994.
4) “Official: Washington to Remain Hostile to Iran,” Associated Press, November 6, 1996.
5) “Rafsanjani: US Anti-Iran Policies Doomed to Fail,” Xinhua News Agency, October 31, 1997.
6) “Iran Considering All Options to Secure (sic),” Associated Press, August 16, 1998.
7) “Iran Slams US and Pakistan as it Ponders How to Tackle the Taleban (sic) Challenge,” Mideast Mirror, August 17, 1998.
8) “Iranian Parliament Approves Bill to Sue Foreign Governments,” Associated Press, November 9, 1999.
9) “Iran Not Interfering in Others’ Internal Affairs: Official,” Xinhua General News Service, August 1, 1993.
10) “Political Barbs Welcome an Iranian Visiting France,” New York Times, January 16, 2004.
11) “International News,” Associated Press, February 10, 1996.
12) “Iran Satisfied with EU Stand on Human Rights Issue,” Xinhua General News Service, December 16, 2002.
14) “Iran Back in the Firing Line,” MEED Middle East Economic Digest, December 4, 1992.
15) “Iranian Deputy Speaker Condemns Attack on Iraq,” UPI, January 19, 1993.
16) “Iran Shows Strong Reaction to US Attack on Baghdad,” Xinhua General News Agency, June 29, 1993.
17) “Prove It, Iran Tells Britain,” Press Association, May 1, 1994.
18) “Iran Denounces Gingrich on Policy Toward Tehran,” Associated Press, October 30, 1995.
19) “Iran Not Interfering in Others’ Internal Affairs: Official,” Xinhua General News Agency, August 1, 1993.
20) “Alternative Foreign Policy Views Among the Iranian Policy Elites,” McNair Papers, April 1, 1994.
21) “Syria ‘Not Ready’ for Peace with Israel,” United Press International, April 7, 1994.
22) “Arabs Divided Over GCC Easing of Israel Boycott,” Mideast Mirror, October 3, 1994.
24) “British Politician Attacks US Policy,” United Press International, September 10, 1995.
25) “Iran to Enhance Ties With Russia,” Xinhua News Agency, February 2, 1997.
26) “Iran, Turkey Agree to Get Rid of Crisis,” Xinhua News Agency, March 3, 1997.
27) “Iran Pleased With UN-iraq Agreement,” Xinhua News Agency, February 23, 1998.
28) “Iran Denies ‘Impending’ Middle East Peace Process,” Agence France Presse, April 4, 2000.
29) “Top Iranian Security Official Says al-Qaeda Members Extradited to Saudi,” Agence France Presse, January 15, 2004.
30) “Iran Concerned About Long-Term US Presence in Region,” Agence France Press, October 10, 2001.
31) “US Strikes Against Iraq: Iran Demands that War on Terror be UN-Led,’ Agence France Presse, July 17, 2002.
32) “Iran Concerned Over Possible War in Iraq,” Xinhua General News Service, December 14, 2002.
33) “US Seeks Domination Over Region and Iraqi Oil: Iranian Official,” Xinhua General News Service, January 25, 2003.
34) “Iran Backs Iraq Disarmament But Opposes War: Official,” Xinhua General News Service, February 26, 2003.
35) “Showdown With Iraq,” Los Angles Times, March 9, 2003.
36) “Iran Will Infiltrate 5 Iraqi Cities,” United Press International, April 3, 2003.
37) “Tehran Wants No Friction with Washington Over Iraq,” Xinhua General News Service, April 27, 2003.
38) “Rowhani Does it Again,” Washington Free Beacon, September 25, 2013.
39) “Top Security Official: Iran Seeks to Reduce Tensions with US,” Deutsch Press-Agentur, May 24, 2003.
40) “Iran Dismisses US Allegations as ‘Psychological Warfare,’ Xinhua General News Service,” May 31, 2003.