Could Iran’s Elections Indicate a New Future?

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Iranian voters sent a strong message to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decisively electing incumbent President Hassan Rouhani to a second term in office. The presidential election shaped up to be a two-man race between Rouhani, considered a “moderate” by many observers, and hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi, who has served for many years in top judiciary positions. According to the final tally, Rouhani received 57 percent of the vote, while Raisi, finished second with 38 percent of the vote.

But perhaps more telling than the impressive numbers posted by Rouhani was the fact he emerged victorious despite Khamenei and many esteemed members of the country’s security establishment openly throwing their support behind Raisi. The results from Friday’s election, in which more than 70 percent of eligible Iranian voters participated, indicate that many in Iran do not necessarily share Khamenei’s domestic and foreign policy views or his vision for the country’s future.

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