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Hassan Rouhani wins Iran presidential election

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  • Center Left
    Denton, TX
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    The Iranian presidential election was held on June 15th, 2013. 72.2% of the electoral public able to vote did. That's an impressive turnout. And, they voted in Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, with 50.71% of the vote. People by thousands were crowding and cheering in the streets over the outcome, with a clear outcry that they believe the change they have been seeking is finally here. "Long live reform, long live Rouhani," members of the crowd chanted.

    Do you think change will come with this new, less extreme elect? The U.S. officially seems pleased with the outcome of the election, saying that they are looking forward to some serious conversations about Iran's nuclear program.

    Mr Rouhani, who has pledged greater engagement with Western powers, said: "This victory is a victory for wisdom, moderation and maturity... over extremism."
  • Liberal Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Washington Post, June 14, 2013: How do Iran’s supreme leader and president split power? Here’s a chart explaining it.

    The WP's chart shows the division of power between the Supreme Leader, the President, and other parts of the Iranian government. It's worth browsing at the above link, but the author, Max Fisher, draws these conclusions:

    "Iran’s government, believe it or not, does have some democratic institutions (whether or not the elections to fill them are reputable is another question). It has a legislature and a president, both selected by Iranian voters. But it also has a supreme leader, whose title makes clear that he’s both more powerful than the president and not democratically elected.

    "The first and perhaps more important take-away from this chart is that the unelected parts of Iran’s government are more powerful than the elected parts. An imperfect but useful comparison might be to think of the American political system, in which we elect our president and legislature, arguably the two most powerful branches, but not our supreme court.'

    There 's more in a second chart that shows the president's office is "so marginalized that it can be tough to spot, nestled into the bottom-right of the chart."

    The president does have some power, and the election of Hassan Rouhani sends a message to the Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei. However, if anyone expects Iran to undergo a major transition towards a more moderate government with the election of Rouhani, that will not happen without the blessing of Khamenei...and whatever reformation that does take place will happen very slowly.