Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Iran

Farda Hears From Iranians Since Vote

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Who Is Iran's New President?

Hassan Rohani, 64, is considered a relative moderate, and is best known abroad for his role as Iran's top nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. But he has a long resume of accomplishments as an academic, military commander, longtime parliament deputy, and holder of various high-ranking government posts.
Listeners from across Iran have been contacting RFE/RL's Radio Farda following the June 14 election of Hassan Rohani as the country's next president.

Rohani, a cleric and former military commander, also led Iran's nuclear negotiations and served in parliament. He campaigned on the desire for more free expression and fewer political jailings, adopting a key as a campaign symbol of the need to break the country's political deadlock. He has suggested he can help usher in a "government of deliberation and hope."

Here are some of the comments that Iranians have been sending to Radio Farda:

  • "I don’t need reformists, fundamentalists, liberals, moderates, leftists, or rightists. My only wish is that Mr. Rohani chooses a cabinet that includes people who love Iran and its people. Maybe then they could fulfill people’s demands for social and individual freedoms, improvement of the economic situation, and the progress of the Iranian nation."

  • "I want to tell the new president of Iran that if you count the number of people who didn’t vote for you and those who did vote for you, it amounts to some 33 million people. All of these people are supporting you. Mr. Rohani, the biggest difference you can make is to secure the release of political prisoners and to end [soaring] inflation."

  • "Mr. Rohani, the new president of Iran, the first thing you should do is to free the country’s political prisoners. You should work to speed up the release of [reformists] Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi (who have remained under strict house arrest for more than two years over their support of the Green Movement protests that followed Iran's last presidential election in 2009)."

  • "We have to realize something. The whole political system [in Iran] is determined by the leadership. All the individuals are obliged to serve [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]. So, we shouldn’t have any expectations from Mr. Rohani [to bring change]."

  • I congratulate Rohani on behalf of all the young people and those who voted for him. I hope he will fulfill his promises -- that is, to recover the value of the rial currency, to restore the national dignity of Iran, and to pay attention to unemployment and other issues."

  • "I'm very grateful that Rohani won the election and that he formed an alliance with [Mohammed Reza] Aref (the moderate candidate who withdrew from the race to increase Rohani's chances of winning). This has absolutely won the votes of the reformists. I hope he can keep his promises, his slogan of restoring wisdom and hope in this country."

  • "I don't understand what Iranian people are expecting from a cleric. Apart from the Vatican, where else in the world does a religious figure run a country?"

  • "The main reason I didn’t take part [in the election] is that our system lacks transparency. And we don't have a good memory from the last election when people's votes were rigged. I was involved in the Green Movement during the 2009 election and I witnessed the shortcomings firsthand. I learned my lessons there. You don't test things that have already been tested once."

  • "My name is Mohammad. Certainly, Mr. Rohani will win the election, we are very happy now. Today is Saturday, and we’re going to celebrate."

  • "I'm Amin from the city of Bandar Abbas. Many people voted for [Hassan] Rohani here. Whoever I met, I told them to vote for Rohani because he is better than [Mohammad Baqer] Qalibaf. But only half of the people who voted in the past election came to vote this time. If the next president were to improve things it would be nice. Otherwise they should not expect anyone to show up to vote in the next election."

  • "I'm a Radio Farda listener. I’ve been sitting here and listening to the developments since the morning. I voted for Rohani. I hope he gets into office and works to bring the country out of crisis."

  • "I'm calling from Mashhad. Although I'm not allowed to talk to foreign media, I would like to say that until yesterday we thought that our votes wouldn't count. But today I can say with all certainty that we are a democratic society and our votes will be counted and will be heard."

  • "If there is a second round we will vote for Rohani again."

  • "I voted for Rohani and I'm happy he is leading in the vote count."

  • "I am grateful to [former President Ali Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani and [former President Mohammad] Khatami, who supported Mr. Rohani, and led the nation toward the right path. I hope Mr. Rohani will make Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami proud."

  • "I live in Shiraz. Law enforcement forces have the city under strict control. If someone comes out to express their solidarity to Rohani, the law enforcement forces try to prevent them."

  • "Even if Mr. Rohani wins the presidency, and even he stays in office for 10 years, he would still be not able to repair what was done during [Mahmud] Ahmadinejad’s presidency. The country is in very bad shape now and it takes time to fix things."

Quiz: How Fluent Are You In Iranian Political Jargon?

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