In Tehran, thousands of jubilant Iranians hit the streets to celebrate their presidential election result. It was described as ‘a victory for moderation’ by the new President Hassan Rohani.
The result was a resounding triumph for cleric Rohani and his reform-minded supporters and an emphatic defeat of Iran’s conservative hardliners.
With six candidates in the running, Rohani won more than 50 percent of the vote.
One Tehran resident said he believed that the support of former Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, as well as the withdrawal of reformist Aref from the race, contributed to Rouhani’s decisive victory.
Rohani takes the helm of an economy battered by international sanctions, the result of Iran’s bitter dispute with the West over its nuclear programme.
On foreign policy, Rohani has already struck a very different tone to that of outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rohani spoke of a new chance “in the international arena” for “those who truly respect democracy and cooperation”.
Matters of national security are the domain of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei so are outside the hands of the president.