[A VOA report about Hassan Rouhani, in which his role in Ayatollah Montazeri’s house arrest is discussed. Montazeri was under house arrest from 1997 to 2003.]
ROUHANI talks about his own past roles: I was the head of Defense Commission in Islamic Parliament, because the supreme leader was the first head of Defense Commission. From 1983, I was deputy commander of war. From 1985, I was head of war headquarter. And from late 1985, I was commander of Iran Air Defense Force.
KHAMENEI praises Hassan Rouhani: Just as I told them, I believe that they observed all diplomatic subtleties. Particularly Mr. Rouhani who, by a knowledgeable, wise and continuous management during these years, showed us a good experience.
ROUHANI’s [in 1977] talk before revolution and giving the title of Imam to Khomeini: It means that the clerics must be careful, it means having vigilant clerics. It means responsible clerics. I prefer one title for our marja, and that is Imam Khomeini.
ROUHANI’s advice to candidates: They do not have the right to question the competency of good people, by announcing what is the best. If our candidate wins, but we damage Islamic moralities in the society, national unity, public trust, then we have all failed.
BABAK DAAD questions Rouhani’s role in removing house arrest: We usually know people by what they have said before. For example, about Mr. Jalili and Mr. Rouhani, sometimes you have to refer to what they have said previously. Mr. Rouhani has not provided any documents to prove his claims as to removing Mr. Montazeri’s house arrest. In the clip that was shown (an I watched it very carefully), Mr. Rouhani did not even know the date. He didn’t know that Mr. Motazeri’s house arrest was lifted in January 21. He had some doubt about it, then they gave him a piece of paper and informed him of the date. Therefore, whether he is telling the truth about removing Ayatollah Montazeri’s house arrest or not, I don’t know.
BABAK DAAD points out to Rouhani’s role in signing the letter of house arrest: But he should talk about the other part as well: after Montazeri’s speech on March 30, he was the one who signed the letter of his house arrest. He should talk about that part of the history as well. We should not tell people just one part and not the other part. [We shouldn’t] just talk about the good things that we did. And not say anything about the part that was wrong and mistaken. And, by the way, it took place during Mr. Khatami’s government.
BABAK DAAD comments on Rouhani’s personality: In the 5th parliament, I had some encounters with Mr. Rouhani. Mr. Nateq Nouri was the speaker of the parliament, and Mr. Rouhani was the deputy speaker. Both were clerics. And both were not seyyed (meaning that they had white turbans). Their only difference was that…. This brought back a lot of memories for me, because Mr. Rouhani is a good rhetorician, smart and very cunning. And there is no doubt about that. But he knows very well how to kill others with kindness.