Reformist Rowhani surprises with Iran election win


Victor Kotsev and Jabeen Bhatti
USA Today
June 15, 2013

The moderate-conservative candidate and victor in Iran’s presidential election, Hasan Rowhani, is known for his negotiating skill over the country’s nuclear weapons program and a reformist some hard-liners in Iran previously saw as too liberal and conciliatory, analysts say.

As a result, analysts predict Rowhani, who was declared the winner Saturday by Iran’s interior minister, might take the country’s top political post and bring hope to the country’s liberal classes but not wield any real power, especially on the nuclear issue.

“A president Rowhani would probably try to persuade the supreme leader that a deal on the nuclear issue would be in the interest of the Islamic Republic, especially if Rowhani believes that it is the only way to avoid a war,” said Bruno Tertrais, a senior researcher at Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. “But (Supreme Leader) Khamenei will remain the ultimate decision-maker.”

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