0551 GMT January 21, 2019
Some of his policies and plans are reviewed briefly in this column.
During his election campaign, Rouhani was very straightforward regarding his domestic and foreign policies.
His foreign policy was and will be that of interaction and engagement with other countries. He announced that no country can be run like an island, isolated from other members of the family of nations.
In his Saturday message, Rouhani said the election’s message for the world is clear: “The Iranian nation has chosen interaction with the world, free from violence and extremism. Iran has decided to live with the world in peace and friendship, but is not ready to accept humiliation, imposition, or threat.”
Dovetailing democracy with security, Rouhani said, “The election was a message that the maintenance of security is possible through the consolidation of democracy based on the people’s vote, not foreign powers.”
Rouhani said the nation voted for “development and progress” and “said no to all those who wanted to take us back to the past.”
It was a historical turnout in the most competitive election in Iranian history.
In order to be able to push ahead with his policies, Rouhani referred to the mandate given to him by the people: “Your trust in me once again places a heavy burden on my shoulders, and I hope I will be your deserving representative.”
Delicately referring to obstruction by his opponents that hindered some of his policies during his first term in office, Rouhani gave a clear message to the nation: “You want a president who is the president of the entire population and who is, of course, your servant.”
President Rouhani, who faced many baseless accusations by some of his rivals during the election campaign, lauded the people from different walks of life, who through their huge turnout, rejected baseless accusations and charges.
For eight years before Rouhani’s first term and even during his current term, the conservatives who have almost all the means at their disposal spared no effort to bash him and his policies.
When, after two years of difficult talks, he succeeded in concluding the nuclear deal, known as JCPOA, which had many great achievements for Iran, the conservatives in Parliament and other power circles, through all available means, including various channels of the national radio and television, left no stone unturned to depict it as a great failure instead of enumerating its achievements and accomplishments.
The accusations reached their pinnacle during the election campaign when his rivals clutched at every straw to undermine him, forgetting the fact that they were the very staunch supporters of the previous administration that had turned Iran into a debris, whose removal would take years.
He now expects the opposition to know its limits, stop its accusations, and join hands to build the nation.
When his rivals made empty promises regarding the creation of jobs and cash handouts, he stood firm and said that those promises were unachievable and instead announced that creation of jobs needed an active engagement with other countries to attract foreign investments. Iran has a huge trained and educated manpower and almost all required natural resources to build a dynamic economy.
Rouhani also spoke of citizens’ rights and promised to implement the Charter of Citizens’ Rights, which the current administration has approved.
He promised to follow his moderate policies during his second administration.
Over all, the election result demonstrated the victory of peace and reconciliation over violence and discord.
Rouhani rightly called for reconciliation. It is the right time to call for reconciliation because he is speaking from the position of strength, with a huge mandate. He stretched out his hands of friendship and peace towards the people from all walks of life, factions and parties to implement his plans and materialize his policies for the welfare of all.