Shah Noor was born in the United States. His parents were born in the Bengali region before moving to the U.S. in 1995. Shah enjoys studying Iran and reading about it in the news. I had the honor of talking to Shah about Iran’s president-elect Hasan Rowhani. Shah discusses the impact that he believes Rowhani will make and the challenges that the new president will face.
Matt: What was your initial reaction upon hearing the news that a moderate, Hasan Rowhani, won the election?
Shah: I thought the last administration would try and stop Rowhani from winning. But when he won, I realized Iran could have better relations with other countries.
Matt: So you were happy about him winning?
Matt: What are the biggest changes that you think Rowhani will make, or try to make, to the country?
Shah: I think he’s gonna be more open about Iran’s nuclear program. Also, he might try to resolve the Sunni and Shiite dispute in Syria. Since Iran funds “Hezbollah”, a Shiite organization that supports the government in Syria, he has to get involved.
Matt: Do you think he will try to improve relations with the Western world, specifically the US?
Shah: He probably will not try to have talks with the U.S, but will try other methods to appease America. There are still Ahmadinejad supporters and factions that don’t want anything to do with the U.S.
Matt: Can you name some other methods?
Shah: A popular tactic within middle eastern and south Asian countries is to gain the support of small villages until the entire region is under their control. This way any decision the government makes will be the decision of the people.
Matt: What do you think Rowhani’s largest challenge will be when he takes office?
Shah: I think Rowhani will have to deal with the poverty of the Iranian people. They could easily revolt and force out the current administration.
Matt: The current administration meaning Ahmadinejad?
Shah: No, Rowhani. If Rowhani doesn’t change their conditions then people will revolt.
Matt: That’s a great transition into my questions about the Arab Spring. Do you think that Iran will be swept up into the wave of revolutions?
Shah: Yes and no. There could be a revolution, but the people of Iran have a history of accepting their leaders. Even if they’re leader’s interests are not the same as theirs.
Matt: The Shah was taken down in 1979. Do you think Ayatollah Khamenei will be able to sustain power when there have been revolutions all over the region?
Shah: The deciding factor of a revolution is how many people participate. So, if there’s enough people then Ayatollah will lose power.
Matt: Do you think there will be enough people? If not, which country do you think will revolt next?
Shah: Yes their will be enough people and Gaza seems the most prone to revolution.
Matt: If the new president in Iran can change one thing in the country, what would you want it to be?
Shah: Poverty. He needs to make sure his own citizens are safe before addressing international problems.
Matt: How do you think he can decrease poverty?
Shah: By creating agricultural programs within different regions. Every region has different soil and grows different crops so Rowhani could theoretically create an entire agricultural based economy.
Matt: That’s interesting. Thanks very much for talking to me and sharing your perspective!