Rouhani gets emphatic endorsement

IRANIAN voters handed Hassan Rouhani an overwhelming victory in the presidential landmark election, giving the reformist president a renewed mandate for his policy of unshackling restrictions at home and forging links with the international community. It is certainly an emphatic endorsement of his moderate political policy, which paved the way for 2015 nuclear deal and lifting of some sanctions on the country.
In his victory speech, emboldened Rouhani reaffirmed the commitment to open up the country more to outside world. While people stood by him in this goal by expressing their confidence in the polls, we understand that it will not be a potholed free road for him since the US President Donald Trump has already threatened to tear apart the nuclear deal signed by world powers with Tehran. As the Iranian side is showing commitments to the deal, it rightly believes that other five states, which signed the agreement including Britain, will be a buttress in preventing Trump from pushing Tehran back to international isolation. Though the US never gets tired of blowing the trumpet of democracy but if it really respects the aspirations of the people then while rising above its vested interests, it should afford full opportunity to Iranian people who as stated by Rouhani have chosen “union over polarisation”. The people of Iran have suffered really hard due to harsh sanctions and like everybody else they deserve equal opportunities to exploit their economic potential. By voting in support of Rouhani, the Iranian people in fact have shown that they wanted to further quicken this process of reintegration. No doubt under Rouhani, Iran has made significant progress both on internal and external fronts. Especially the agreements signed by Iran during last year’s visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping envisaging bolstering bilateral trade to whopping $600b in next ten years shows the visionary approach of President Rouhani. Having said that, we understand his policy of “peace and friendship” should have no exclusions and that he should also pursue the course of healing strained ties with important Muslim countries especially Saudi Arabia. In fact this alone will not be the desire of his countrymen but also the entire Muslim Ummah. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are very important members of Muslim Ummah and any discord between them only allows space to enemies of Islam to further nourish the seeds of hatred and clash in the Islamic countries. Though it is a tough turf, yet we believe that common friends of both the countries especially Pakistan and Turkey can play an important role in reducing the tension in relations. A beginning to this effect may be made by establishing a quadrilateral mechanism involving officials of all the four countries as reservations and thorny issues cannot be addressed by exchanging barbs on the media but only sitting face to face on table for concerted negotiations. In fact, reduction of tension will open many opportunities of cooperation for both the countries in different spheres. This is also vital to save the Middle Eastern region from further boiling up. Similarly, given the close proximity and geo-strategic location, both Pakistan and Iran can benefit immensely by strengthening cooperation in different sectors of economy. Though our enemy will try to disrupt this relationship, but leadership of both countries needs to stay connected as was seen lately in order to address all sorts of issues and misconceptions including those relating to borders through existing mechanisms. In fact CPEC, Gwadar and Chahbahar projects entail tremendous opportunities of cooperation. Given the massive trust reposed by Iranians on Rouhani, we wish him to succeed in his endeavours of reintegrating with the world by religiously pursuing his election message of ‘peace and friendship over violence and extremism’ in order to ensure prosperous future for his countrymen.

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