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Iranian campaign adviser: ‘There will be new foreign policy’

June 17th, 2013
04:14 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

One thing is clear in Iran, at least according to an adviser to the president-elect's campaign: The people have rejected the policies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The election of reform-minded Hassan Rouhani is an indication of the mood of the Iranian people, Sadegh Zibakalam, who advised the campaign of the next president, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“The most important issue is not to continue with the policies that have been running and guiding Iran during the past, particularly four years,” Zibakalam said. “Moving towards a better conciliatory, realistic, and pragmatic policy – I mean, that is the main issue.” 

In a press conference on Monday, Rouhani also struck a conciliatory tone, while reiterating that he would defend Iran’s sovereign rights.

“We don't want to see more tension,” Rouhani said. But the talks with the United States must be based on “mutual respect and interest,” with America acknowledging that “they will never interfere in the domestic affairs of Iran.”

Zibakalam summed up Rouhani’s press conference succinctly.

“He is sending this simple message to the world,” Zibakalam said, “that there has been a real election in Iran, and hopefully, Inshallah, there will be new foreign policy, as far as Iran is concerned.”

Iran’s president must ultimately answer to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, but the president-elect’s adviser warned not to underestimate the importance of Rouhani’s victory.

“You must realize that although the Supreme Leader has tremendous power according to the construction, but he doesn’t take the decision in a vacuum,” Zibakalam said. “Obviously he has seen that … the people are more or less tired of the hardline policies that have been governing Iran.”

AMANPOUR: New Day for Iran and the United States?

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran • Latest Episode
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Akinbode Isiaka Abayomi

    Good tidings

    June 18, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply
  2. Gigi Nikpour

    Take a look at this video! It may help to get educated about Rohani's background (his deep roots with the regime–since 1979 😉

    June 18, 2013 at 3:27 am | Reply
  3. billy

    Talk is cheap

    June 18, 2013 at 6:26 am | Reply
  4. rie matsumoto

    Hello,today's watch programs.
    Iran president決まる.国が良い方向に進むように,がんばれIran.

    Have a nice day)/~rie matsumoto

    June 18, 2013 at 7:35 am | Reply
  5. Reza

    Lets c if this will get published....they're all from the same ilk. What lasting effect did the moderate Khatami's presidency have?? Ir'll b same here. Gotta cot off the head of the snake, Khamenei and ALL OF HIS KIBD. If u wear a turban, or ananeh, ur ace is on the mosque and not in tve presidential office. BTW, same for Jews and Christians. Practice u religion in private it's should not bevan electablity issue.

    June 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  6. Reza

    Sorry 4 phat phinger dynd and misspellings

    June 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  7. rie matsumoto

    Hello,today's watch programs.
    Have a nice day)/~rie matsumoto

    June 19, 2013 at 7:56 am | Reply
  8. Change Iran Now

    what the Khamenei regime wants is the perception that a massive voter turnout picked a moderate. He didn’t want a repeat of 2009 and that’s exactly what he got and the media are happily trotting along praising the guy. I just believe that at the end of the day, things really aren’t going to change that much. Iran remains a theocracy, personal liberties are restricted and the economy is crushing because of the regime’s die-hard commitment to building a nuke weapons program. The Iranian people really are the engine of change, but they’ve been denied any chance to get things revved up. To see real efforts at changing the regime, check out for the largest meeting of Iranians outside of Iran.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:08 am | Reply
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