Rouhani, Fuad 1907-2004

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ROUHANI, Fuad 1907-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 23, 1907, in Tehran, Iran; died January 30, 2004, in London, England. Attorney, legal advisor, and administrator. Rouhani was best remembered for his role as the first secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during the early 1960s. After beginning his career working for a British oil company in Iran, he moved to England to earn two law degrees from the University of London, LL.B. in 1937 and an LL.M. in 1940; in 1968, he would also earn a doctorate from the University of Paris. Returning to his homeland, he became a legal advisor to the Anglo-Indian Oil Co., the British-owned company that later became British Petroleum, and chief legal advisor, from 1951 to 1954, for the National Iranian Oil Co. Rouhani remained with National for the next ten years, serving as a member of the board of directors and then deputy chairman until 1964. While still working for National, he was selected to be secretary general of the newly formed OPEC, an organization of Middle Eastern countries that was created in response to oil companies in the West reducing their payments to oil-producing companies because of an oversupply of petroleum. Some experts today credit Rouhani not only with helping to make OPEC an acknowledged negotiating force but also with keeping out those who wished to introduce fundamentalist Islamic principals into OPEC's philosophy. After serving in OPEC for three years, Rouhani went on to be a special adviser to the prime minister of Iran and then secretary general of the Regional Cooperation for Development in Tehran during the late 1960s. Beginning in 1968, he became an independent legal consultant on international and industrial law and wrote about his OPEC experience in A History of the O.P.E.C. (1971). With the Iranian revolution in 1979, which resulted in his possessions being confiscated by the government, Rouhani moved to Europe, retiring in London. Rouhani, an accomplished pianist who also played the traditional instrument called the tar and was cofounder of the Philharmonic Society of Tehran, spent many of his last years enjoying a devotion to music. He also wrote a history of the Iranian oil industry and translated books on poetry, philosophy, and psychology from the West into Persian and French.



Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, February 7, 2004, p. A15.

Times (London, England), February 18, 2004.