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Die Welt - Germany | Friday, September 6, 2013

Iran's new president should seize opportunity

In an unexpected gesture, Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani wished all the world's Jews a blessed Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish new year, in a message sent via Twitter on Thursday. This could well be the start of a tentative policy shift, the conservative daily Die Welt believes: "Rouhani is a pragmatic strategist, not a visionary. As Hujjat al-Islam, unlike his predecessor he wields unlimited religious authority. He has the power to instrumentalise powerful institutions like the Revolutionary Guard and the Guardian Council for his own ends. ... He can also afford to adopt a new tone. ... The president has gone even further and put the Iranian expert council in its place. ... Rouhani will have to be judged by how he talks at the end of month before the United Nations in New York and by whether he tries to resume the long disrupted contact with the British and perhaps even the Americans. It's still too early to draw conclusions about his policies. But he should at least be given a chance."

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