Hassan Rowhani marshaled a stunning victory in Iran’s June 14 presidential election, in which nearly 36.7 million Iranians participated — roughly 72 percent of eligible voters. Rowhani managed to secure 18 million votes, approximately 51 percent of all votes cast. The only cleric out of the six presidential candidates, Rowhani’s victory is a clear signal of protest against the Ahmadinejad administration’s management of Iran’s relations with the Western world, including issues over nuclear policies.
Rowhani’s Election: Promise of Change or More of the Same?
Rowhani’s victory in Iran’s 2013 presidential election is a clear protest vote against his predecessor’s management of the country’s relations with the Western world. Although Rowhani’s support for broader social freedoms, as well as his advocacy for women’s rights rendered him a favorite candidate for change, undoubtedly economic insecurity — caused by the imposition of sanctions by the Western world in reaction to Iran’s nuclear program — was a key factor in his victory. Since Rowhani is ultimately beholden to the Supreme Leader, the question persists: Does the election of yet another reformist generate false hope or genuine hope? We will have to wait and see if Rowhani’s presidency can provide the perspective necessary for breaking away from the futile approach of the past.
Moderate president-elect Hassan Rowhani said his victory opened a new path for Iran to engage constructively with the international community and ease tensions raised by Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. EPA
Already have an account? Sign In.