Iran’s new “reformist” president: cleric Hassan Rouhani
posted at 12:31 pm on June 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Iran will not need a runoff to determine the winner in its presidential election, a competition between pre-approved candidates with Supreme Leader Ali Khameini’s blessings. The winner, Hassan Rouhani, was a relative moderate who reached out to reformers in the waning days of the campaign:
Although all six candidates were seen as conservatives, analysts say Mr Rouhani – a 64-year-old cleric often described as “moderate” who has held several parliamentary posts and served as chief nuclear negotiator – has been reaching out to reformists in recent days.
The surge of support for him came after Mohammad Reza Aref, the only reformist candidate in the race, announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing on the advice of pro-reform ex-President Mohammad Khatami.
Mr Rouhani thus went into polling day with the endorsement of two ex-presidents – Mr Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was disqualified from the race by the powerful Guardian Council, a 12-member body of theologians and jurists.
We can be assured that Khameini would have approved no one who would rock the mullahcratic boat, and so therefore no one should expect much from Rouhani. Here’s one indication of just how “reformist” Khameini will allow the new government to become:
No foreign observers monitored this year’s election and there have also been concerns that media coverage in the run-up has been unfair.
Many reformist newspapers have been shut down, access to the internet and foreign broadcasters has been restricted, and journalists have been detained.
On Thursday, the BBC accused the Iranian authorities of “unprecedented levels of intimidation” of BBC employees’ families.
It said Iran had warned the families of 15 BBC Persian Service staff that they must stop working for the BBC or their lives in London would be endangered.
In other words, it’ll be business as usual, only under a new banner.
Update: Daniel Halper takes a look at Rouhani’s resumé.