Hassan Rowhani, 64, a moderate, was declared the outright winner with 50.68 percent of votes cast in Iran’s Presidential polls held on June 14. He singularly won against the five conservative candidates with 18.6 million votes. A good turnout was observed as 36.7 million people, or 72.7 percent of the electorate voted to elect their new President.
After being declared successful, Rowhani said his win a “victory of progress” over extremism. Strong nations should speak to Iranian people with respect and recognize the rights of the Islamic republic then they will “hear an appropriate response.” He also reiterated his country’s instance that it has a right to have a peaceful nuclear energy program.
Let’s take a peek at his whereabouts before winning the elections. Hassan Rowhani is a British-educated cleric and a former nuclear negotiator (from 2003 to 2005), nuclear dossier and Khamenei’s representative at the Supreme National Security Council. He has moderate views and made very clear during campaign that his foreign policy approach and domestic policies would be quite different from outgoing President Ahmadinejad. He presented himself successfully an alternate to moderates and reformists in the absence of Hashmi Rafsanjani who was disqualified to take part in election.
Ten of thousands of his supporters gathered on streets all over the country and cheered on his success. Heavy turn-out shows that people want a change and they have preferred a moderate person over any conservative because they know sanctions have made their lives more difficult.
This highest elected office of Iran is not the bed of roses for Rowhani. He will have to bear crushing multiple pressures from all sides. From one end, conservative clerics will exert pressure to carry on traditional policies on foreign relations and Nuke Program whereas moderates and reformists expectations will naturally go high as they have voted him for a change and to introduce reforms in society, political system and bring sanction-hit battered economy to its right track.
The US and west will examine what “new” he can bring to them while his nuke negotiating team will resume talks with IAEA and EU to resolve that long lasting nuke issue with Tehran. The foremost action for him will be to establish “normal” and “pleasant” working relationship with Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guards to review and overhaul the foreign policy and strategy on Iran’s controversial Nuclear Program.
The result of this election is very important for Iran. It requires every side to treat each other patiently with open-heart as they can have internally different views how to carry on Iran on the way to advancement and prosperity but everyone should not skip it from minds that foreign eyes focused on Iran are united on one agenda how to weaken and bow down Iran as a strategic move to destabilize the region. Hassan Rowhani hints a change in policies but his success depends upon bringing all power stake holders in one direction and stand united to face challenges.