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Enthusiasm Lingers After Iran Election


Despite tough economic times and the continued threat of international action over Iran's controversial nuclear program, Iranians' enthusiasm remains high after moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani recently won the presidency.

Scenes of celebration following Rowhani's victory were captured by Iranian citizens on cell phone cameras. Videos were sent to VOA's Persian service, finding their way out of Iran despite what had been an ongoing crackdown on Internet access.

Even state run TV showed the euphoria.

'We are all happy,' said one man. 'This happiness is indescribable.'

On VOA Persian's call-in programs, many Iranians were hopeful.

Host Mehdi Falahati said, “They said this is the only choice to go ahead toward reformistic demands to reform this government and to reform this society.”

But president-elect Rowhani may not have much time.

This camera-phone video sent to VOA Persian shows the crowd chanting not for Rowhani, but for reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, currently under house arrest. Many reformists have called for his release.

“I think if Rowhani cannot answer these demands [to release reformist leaders from house arrest] he definitely will lose his voters, people who trusted him,” said Falahati.

Yet even once he takes office in August, Rowhani will have limited power. Many of the key decisions remain in the hands of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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