Name at birth: Hassan Feridon
Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran's 7th president on 4 August 2013, succeeding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani has a clerical background, but has been politically active since 1965, when he joined those renouncing the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. After Iran's 1979 revolution, Rouhani became a member of the parliament and began his long career in politics. During the 1990s he studied judicial law abroad, earning a Master of Philosophy degree in 1995 and a PhD. in 1999 from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. Since 1989, Rouhani has been a member of the Supreme National Security Council. Known as a moderate, President Rouhani vowed to open communications with the West, a contrast to the fiery rhetoric of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad. Elected in June of 2013, Rouhani received the blessing of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on 3 August, and was sworn in by the parliament the next day.