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Rouhani re-elected as Iran’s president

Rouhani re-elected as Iran’s president
May 20
10:48 2017
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Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected president of Iran following Saturday’s presidential elections.

He has been congratulated by the state television.

According to the near-complete results announced, Rouhani leads with 58.6 percent of the vote, compared with 39.8 percent for his main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi.

Although the powers of the elected president are limited by those of unelected supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who outranks him, the scale of Rouhani’s victory gives the pro-reform camp a strong mandate.

Rouhani’s opponent Raisi was a protege of Khamenei, tipped in Iranian media as a potential successor for the 77-year-old supreme leader who has been in power since 1989.

The re-election is likely to safeguard the nuclear agreement Rouhani’s government reached with global powers in 2015, under which most international sanctions have been lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

And it delivers a setback to the Revolutionary Guards, the powerful security force which controls a vast industrial empire in Iran. They had thrown their support behind Raisi to safeguard its interests.

“I am very happy for Rouhani’s win. We won. We did not yield to pressure. We showed them that we still exist,” said 37-year-old Mahnaz, a reformist voter reached by telephone in the early hours of Saturday. “I want Rouhani to carry out his promises.”

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