Iran: Moderate Hassan Rouhani wins presidential election
Tehran, June 16: Hassan Rouhani won Iran's presidential election on Saturday, registering a landslide victory over conservative hardliners. The victory of the moderate cleric has surprised the observers.
Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najir on Saturday announced on state television that Rouhani bagged just over 50 per cent of the ballot based on a 72 per cent turnout of 50 million voters.
The outcome of the election may not soon change Tehran's tense relations with the West, question its controversial nuclear programme and support for Syria's tyrannical regime but Rouhani's victory could offer a new direction to Iran's foreign policy relations and social freedom conditions after eight years of confrontation and repression under Rouhani's hardline predecessor Mahnoud Ahmadinejad, who was legally stopped from seeking a third consecutive term.
Rouhani, a former chief nuclear negotiator, is known for his nuanced and pacifying approach, and has promised to engage in a constructive dialogue with the world and also to bring a domestic charter for civil rights.
The man's big victory revealed the prevailing pro-reform sentiment with many voters who are not affected by restrictions on selecting candidates and grab the chance that came their way to reject the dominant hardline elite over the country's economic plight, isolation in the international stage and curb on social freedoms.