16 Jun 2013

Iran election: Rouhani hails victory against ‘extremism’

Iran’s newly elected president, the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, has hailed his win was a victory of moderation against extremism.

Iranians took the the streets to celebrate on Saturday shouting pro-reform slogans after Rouhani took over 50 per cent of the vote.

Rouhani’s win puts him in charge of Iran’s executive branch that traditionally has taken the lead in handling the economy, but nuclear policy, defence and foreign affairs are primarily controlled by the ruling clerics and the Revolutionary Guard.

The US raised concerns over transparency and censorship during the election, but has indicated it is ready to work wit Tehran.

Rouhani has taken his first steps in consulting with members of the clerically dominated establishment on his new policies.

In a statement the 64-year-old declared “a new opportunity has been created for those who truly respect democracy, interaction and free dialogue”.

He added; “I thank God that once again rationality and moderation has shone on Iran”.

Iran currently suffers from 30 per cent inflation and 14 per cent unemployment rates linked to Western sanctions for Tehran’s suspect nuclear program.

Rouhani has called for better contact with the international community but has little authority over the nuclear activities tied to sanctions.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has declared its support for the newpresident; “We announce our comprehensive readiness for interaction and cooperation with the next administration in the framework of legal duties and assignments”.

Iran’s stock exchange has climbed for the second continuous day.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the international community against easing sanctions as the country’s nuclear efforts remain in the hands of Iran’s extremist ruling clerics.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains the ultimate authority on all state matters and key security policy decisions including nuclear efforts

Netanyahu said that the Iranian clerics disqualified candidates they disagreed with from running in the election and warned the international community against “wishful thinking”.