Friday, May 2, 2014

Prospects for Moderation

Now that eight months have elapsed from the instalment of the government of Dr. Rouhani, it has become more clear how moderation is translated into policy at national and external levels. Serious measures have been taken to improve economic conditions,curb inflation and fluctuating exchange rates, enable a gradual revision of current subsides policy,  and support for employment generation schemes .On social and political dimensions more lawfulness,respect for citizen's rights and freedoms, a resolution of the political stalemate after the 2009 disputed elections ,inclusion of diverse political tendencies in social processes and more support for NGOs,free press, arts and cinema.Dr. Rouhani has faced tremendous pressures and  numerous hurdles in this path. In addition, the government has clearly dealt with environmental issues and the recent improvement in fuel quality and air pollution is an important step in that direction. Resolution of the nuclear issue and improvement of relations with the world have also been pursued in the context of moderation policies. These developments have faced fierce confrontation by radical elements and supporters of the previous government.

The fact that many countries have welcomed this change in policy has  angered radical groups and caused them to react. The firm resolution of the government to pursue the policies of moderation is now evident.

In the Department of Environment we have embarked on a major strategy of "environmental diplomacy" during these months and we have recieved positive feedback in some areas. I met with a group of French Senators last week. We talked about environmental challenges but also ways to improve relations. Since I spoke a few minutes in French, Senator Marini told me they were pleased to meet a Francophone in the Cabinet of Dr. Rouhani.


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