During a televised address to the nation on Wednesday night Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the government would extend medical insurance to include all Iranians. The first step would be to cover 5 million uninsured Iranians by the social safety net.
Your Middle East’s Iran correspondent Alborz Habibi was watching the President’s speech tweeting updates in English. “Rouhani hinted at an insurance and health care program,” Habibi explains and adds, “Then I joked and used RouhaniCare hashtag on Twitter.”
And a few minutes later Rouhani’s Twitter account followed in his footsteps,
The hashtag, a replicate of the US President Barack Obama’s health care initiative ObamaCare, quickly trended on Twitter.
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Habibi, unaware of the Twitter trend his hash tag would bring, says, “The hashtag was widely used, simply making it a public relations success for the President's powerful public diplomacy team that in my view has been doing a great job since elections. Indeed this is how opinion polls in US can be influenced.”
The hashtag also poked satirical reactions…
Karl Sharro @KarlreMarks
My theory was correct, Rouhani is Obama! https://twitter.com/KarlreMarks/status/426297139799801856 … #RouhaniCare
While another Twitter user asked if the website would work…
Rouhani’s English Twitter and Facebook channels are not run by the President himself, the frequent online updates are instead “written by my friends,” Rouhani told media at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.