Hasan Rowhani has a lengthy history in Iranian politics, having served as the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council for more than 16 years. He was also a former deputy speaker of the parliament. During Mohammad Khatami’s Presidency, in 2003, Rowhani became Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Rowhani maintained the post for two years before being replaced by Ali Larijani when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assumed the presidency in 2005. He is also a member of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the Assembly of Experts, a body vested with the power to elect and remove the Supreme Leader. Rowhani is reputed to be close to both Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Chairman of Expediency Discernment Council.
Right until his election to the presidency, Hasan Rowhani headed the Tehran-based think tank, the Center for Strategic Research. Rowhani, in a 2009 monograph published by the Center for Strategic Research, “Islamic Political Thought, Volume I: Theory,” extolled Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini’s alleged enlightened “vision” for Islamic governance, as follows (translation kindly provided by Amil Imani):
It appears distancing from any fundamental ideals of the Islamic Revolution, would only mean to be held in the prison of western politics, “politics without ethics” or a medieval European dungeon, “backward religious thoughts”…And we all have witnessed and taken notes of the warning of great architect of the Islamic government, Ayatollah Khomeini, that we avoid falling over that cliff…[T]he Islamic Revolution and its theorists, and above all, Imam Khomeini, were exemplary leaders who were the first to have projected, defined and implemented a superb divine Islamic model for all humans and all times.
Pace Rowhani’s hagiography, Khomeini’s longstanding, clearly articulated views and what actually befell non-Muslim minorities, and “the Left” under the Shiite theocracy Khomeini re-installed, are well-known. The best overall source on the human rights tragedy engendered by Iran’s retrograde 1979 Khomeini “revolution” remains Iranian historian Reza Afshari’s seminal 2001 publication, Human Rights in Iran: The Abuse of Cultural Relativism. A compendious online source of refutations to the fatuous claim by Rowhani was assembled here, entitled, “Promises Before and Results After Khomeini’s Islamists Took Over.”
Shortly after the executions of Iranian Jewish community leaders, on manufactured charges of “espionage,” following Khomeini’s ascension to power, 75% of the Jewish community fled Iran, en masse. (See here pp. 141-150 and here about these events, the overall plight of Jews and other non-Muslims in Iran, notably, Zoroastrians, Bahai, and Christians, and Khomeini’s apocalyptic, genocidal Islamic views about the Jews of Israel because they did not live as “dhimmis,” subjugated under the Sharia, Islamic Law—sentiments that were independent of the so-called “Palestinians,” or any relationship between the Shah and “Zionists.”)
Reza Afshari (p. 22) has summarized what actually transpired with the implementation of Ayatollah Khomeini’s, “superb divine Islamic model for all humans and all times.” (See here and pp. 5,8, 68,87,110,112,123,139-141,144,206 for additional discussion of Iran’s theocratic constitution regarding the rights and status of the “non-religious,” and Sharia based punishments for apostasy, and blasphemy, and here for a brief discussion of Khomeini’s brutal campaign against the left, involving murder, torture, and incarceration.):
Politically, the highly repressive character of the regime emerged during the process by which the clerics severely restricted the basic freedoms of political activists. They achieved their goal by forcibly removing all secular, leftist, and liberal political forces and individuals from the wide and unwieldy array of political activities that the revolution had opened up in 1979.