Hassan Fereydoon Rouhani

Posted in Hassan 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



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

Diplomat Sheikh (given to him by Sharq newspaper in 2003)

Married: Married his cousin Shaebeh Arabi (Rouhank), who is six years younger




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 hyprocrisy. 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
Spouses: 3 sisters and a brother named Hossein Fereydon (he's a former Vice Minister of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)



1948 Born in Sorkhen, 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 Nishapur.
1979  Revolution



Elected member of the Majilis (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)



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)


Re-elected to the Majilis
     Head of the Defense Committee


Commander of the Khatam-ol-anbiya Operation Center (until 1988)
      Commander of the National Air Defense (until 1991)



Member of the High Council for War Support (1986-1988)
     Head of the Executive Committee (1986-1988)
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 Majilis
       Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff (until 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 



Expediency Discernment Council of the System (1991-present) 7
      Head of the Political, Social, and Security Committee 


Re-elected to the Majilis
     Elected Deputy Speaker (until 2000) 8
1994  Re-elected Deputy Speaker 



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



Re-elected to the Majilis
Re-elected Deputy Speaker
     Member of the Foreign Policy Committee



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
1999 Received Ph.D. in Constitutional Law at Glasgow Caledonian University 



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)



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)



Both 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 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, sitting behind Khomeini in the white turban, was a close associate of the Ayatollah. 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 Beseshti and Motahhari urged Rouhani to leave Iran to avoid being jailed.  For 18 months, Rouhani went abroad, giving speeches to Iranian students at universities.

Rouhani formed a close bond with Khomeni 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 to 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, Socials (sic) and Cultural Affairs, Foreign Policy, Security and 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 Supreme Command Council of the Armed Forces
- 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.

3) Ibid.

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

11) Ibid.

12) Ibid.

13) Ibid.

14) Ibid.

15) "Khamenei Names Ahmad Khomeini to National Security Council," Associated Press, November 14, 1989.

16) Ibid.