Hassan Rouhani

Position: President of Iran

Biography: Following Hassan Rouhani’s appointment as president of Iran in early August 2013, relations between Tehran and Washington have become the warmest since the 1979 Iranian revolution. The next six months will determine whether this rapprochement will continue and whether sanctions on international trade with the Islamic Republic will be eased.

Rouhani faces the difficult task of meeting international demands on the country’s nuclear programme while keeping hardline conservatives – the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – on side. At the same time, he faces the additional challenge of falling oil prices, which have come as a further blow to the Iranian economy following toughened sanctions on energy exports.

Talks with the P5+1 group of countries are set to resume on 15 January in Geneva. The plan is for a draft deal to be made by March and a final agreement by 1 July.