Iran’s Hassan Rouhani: trackrecord after one month

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/19/hassan-rouhani-vision-iran-free

Softened diplomacy

He heralds improved diplomatic relations with the west by an exchange of letters with Barack Obama and David Cameron in early August. Both Iran’s supreme leader and Rouhani subsequently strike a newly conciliatory tone, seeming to signal Iran’s readiness for a fresh chapter in diplomacy.

Moderates promoted

Rouhani appoints a new cabinet consisting of pro-reform moderates and pragmatists, naming the veteran US-educated Iranian diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif as foreign minister. Several key officials belonging to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s era are dismissed from posts in major ministries.

Censorship eased

On 12 September Iran’s independent House of Cinema – the main film guild, shut down under Ahmadinejad – is reopened. Students previously banned from universities because of political activity are allowed to continue their education. Formerly tight restrictions on the media are eased, with some journalists reporting on the situation of political prisoners.

Women’s rights advanced

Following the appointment of Marzieh Afkham as Iran’s first female foreign ministry spokesperson and two women as deputies to the prime minister, 24-year-old Shirin Gerami this week became the first Iranian woman to race in triathlon under the Islamic republic’s flag.

Political prisoners released

On Wednesday leading human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is released from jail, along with a number of other prominent political activists. This follows the easing of the terms of the house arrest of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, allowing them more frequent family visits.

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One thought on “Iran’s Hassan Rouhani: trackrecord after one month

  1. Ahmadinejad won the elections when pro reformers in Iran decided to boycott the elections. I think it should be obvious that it is better to take part in elections, instread of sitting in the warm home and argueing that elections won’t change anything.
    I think for the political prisoners that were released a lot of things changed. They will be thankful to those iranians that took part in the elections.
    The new administration with people like Rouhani (studied in Glasgow) and Zarif (studied in the U.S.) has definitely better potential to find diplomatique solutions than Ahmadinejad.

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