Scoring a decisive victory in Friday’s election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has wasted no time in making clear that his second term in office, like his first, is going to be centered on diplomacy, and opening Iran to the Western world as much as possible.
Rouhani presented his victory over the hardliner Raisi as proof that Iranians are choosing to move away from extremist isolation and toward a more open society. Hardliners have resisted such openness, arguing that the West cannot be trusted.
Public celebrations were seen in many places around Iran, particularly in Tehran, where younger supporters eagerly endorsed the reformist Rouhani, saying they were relieved at his reelection after a campaign which saw hardliners quickly unite around Raisi.
Raisi was seen as the Supreme Leader’s preferred choice, though he did largely stay out of the campaign, and Rouhani’s success in getting a P5+1 nuclear deal finalized in his first term, if the sanctions relief was a bit slow coming because of US resistance, appears to have kept many people quite pleased.
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