News / Middle East

Iranian President-Elect Addresses Nation After Surprise Victory

A supporter of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani celebrates his victory in Iran's presidential election along a street in Tehran, June 16, 2013.
A supporter of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani celebrates his victory in Iran's presidential election along a street in Tehran, June 16, 2013.
VOA News
Iran's President-elect Hassan Rowhani has hailed his win in the country's election as a victory over "extremism," as thousands of his supporters celebrated Sunday in the streets of Tehran.

In his first public statement since Friday's vote, the reformist cleric called his election a victory of moderation and intelligence over extremism.

Many analysts see Rowhani's surprise victory as a popular repudiation of the conservative hardliners in the race.

The president-elect has vowed to improve ties with the international community, although Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has the final say in all strategic matters, including nuclear policy.

Rowhani, a former chief nuclear negotiator and the favorite of reformists, earned slightly more than 50 percent of the vote - close to 19 million out of nearly 37 million counted.  His closest competitor among five other candidates was Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, who received about 16 percent of the vote.  Turnout was more than 70 percent.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Rowhani and encouraged Iranian authorities and the president-elect to play a "constructive role" in regional and international affairs.

The Obama administration also congratulated the Iranian people for their participation in the election.  But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Iran's election took place amid what he called "government obstacles and limitations," including censorship of the media, an intimidating security environment and a lack of transparency.

Carney said the U.S. hopes Iran's government will heed its people's will and make choices that create a better future for them.  He reiterated the U.S. willingness to engage Iran directly to reach a diplomatic solution to concerns about its nuclear program.

Rowhani will take on an economy struggling with high unemployment and inflation, and crippled by international sanctions for the country's disputed nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday cautioned the international community not to ease sanctions on Iran because of "wishful thinking" following Rowhani's election.  He called Iran's alleged pursuit of atomic weapons the "greatest threat to world peace," and pointed out that Iran's supreme leader, not the president, is the person who determines nuclear policy.

Iran's presidential vote was the first since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in 2009 spawned widespread protests and a bloody crackdown by the government.  Ahmadinejad, known internationally for his hostility toward the U.S. and Israel, was barred by law from a third term.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
June 17, 2013 6:16 AM
First of all I congratulate to Iran and Irani peoples to have peaceful election without any blood. Which is now a days completely impossible even in so called civilised society. Now I request to elected President to give more and more attention on domestic issues. We cannot survive in this world if there is increase in social problems and there is no downfall in graph. Iran enemy or enemies will take full advantage of these social problems and they can create problems for Iran. In the end we wish bright future for iran and irani peoples under new President.

by: Wilf Tarquin from: Tonga
June 17, 2013 12:42 AM
The title of President is largely ceremonial in Iran, the power rests with the guardian council of mullahs, and ultimately with Supreme Leader for life Ayatollah Khamenei. The job of the president is to act as right-hand man and mouthpiece to Khamenei.

In short, nothing's changed in Iran. The elections exist to give the people an illusion of self-government, but Iran is and remains a dictatorship, and nothing will change until the dictator, Khamenei, is deposed.
In Response

by: Dave from: UK
June 18, 2013 2:31 AM
Although Khamenei has a lot of power, a lot of things do change under different presidencies, like we've seen it before during Khatami's presidency when Iran had the best foreign relations with the west. The interior affairs also was better, people had much more freedom. President has a lot of power. However Khamenei is in charge of all armed forces and sometimes reconciles the disputes between politicians, or between the government and the congress. It's not a monarchy.

by: Nora Dylan from: USA
June 16, 2013 10:20 PM
to all the Iranians here... listen... isn't it a humiliation to be considered as incompetent by your own Mullahs...?? Velayat-e faqih... the custody of the idiots... LOL... where is your pride...??
In Response

by: Arash from: Iran
June 18, 2013 2:38 AM
That's why we voted for a reformist candidate. He's going to create a free atmosphere for different newspapers and let new ideas publish what they want. This freedom of ideas is a step towards a more tenable government. If we didn't vote, another hardliner would come and destroy the country. We voted someone who president Khatami endorsed. We really loved it when Khatami was our president

by: Samuel Prime from: Canada
June 16, 2013 7:14 PM
I won't pretend to predict anything but only to note two possibilities that come to mind. First, on the big issues, like the stalled nuclear program, that lies squarely under the authority of Ayatollah Khamenei and not the president. As such, there may be no change on that issue (just more stalled talks). The second possibility is if the Ayatollah could seize the opportunity as a face saving device to modify his policy/approach to the nuclear issue and thereby give Rowhani more latitude in allowing the issue to progress in the way Rowhani thinks. I suspect that the first of these possibilities is the more likely one. But the second one (less likely) would help to move the nuclear issue forward. All in all, I suspect that Rowhani's tenure will not be that different from Khatami's a decade ago - so more toned down and less hotheaded than the outgoing president.
In Response

by: Peyman from: Iran
June 18, 2013 2:45 AM
What's your problem with our nuclear program? You are allowed to have nuclear weapons and don't want us to use even peaceful nuclear energy? What's the logic of that? after so many years West and America has no evident that shows we're seeking nuclear bomb. If they had. they would have attacked Iran

by: Kevin from: Wolfer
June 16, 2013 9:40 AM
Jay Carney's advice on Iran's system should be heeded by his own boss, " described as "government obstacles and limitations," including a lack of transparency, censorship of the media and an intimidating security environment."
Why doesn't Pres. Obama listen to his people?

by: Suzi Saul
June 16, 2013 9:22 AM
He looks like a nice man...maybe he actually is.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More