Rouhani's win at Iran's presidential election positive for Russian Federation - senator

A supporter of newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani holds a placard bearing a portrait of him as she takes to the streets to celebrate his victory in downtown Tehran on May 20, 2017.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a comfortable margin over his main arch-conservative challenger, buoyed by high voter turnout, according to official results. While the president was able to mend Tehran's relationship with the European Union - and reach a nuclear agreement that opened the Iranian economy to more Western investment - unemployment climbed from 10 to 12.7 percent over his first term.

Tillerson said he wants Rouhani to "begin a process of dismantling Iran's network of terrorism, dismantling its financing of the terrorist network, dismantling of the manning and the logistics and everything that they provide to these destabilizing forces that exist in this region".

Rouhani put civil liberties at the heart of his campaign, and he pointedly thanked reformist former president Mohammed Khatami, banned from appearing in the media since the 2009 protests, in his acceptance speech.

In the document, the French president congratulated his Iranian counterpart on the reelection and expressed hope for the improvement of the economic, scientific and cultural ties between Tehran and Paris.

President Donal Trump, for his part, is in Riyadh, where "the Saudis are hosting an Arab Islamic American Summit with leaders from dozens of Muslim countries", and where "Trump and the Saudi king signed several agreements spanning diplomatic, governmental and commercial ventures, including an arms deal worth $110 billion", as NPR reports.

But Iran's efforts to open up to the world face a stark challenge from US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to tear up the nuclear deal and is now visiting its bitter regional rival Saudi Arabia.

In his message, Aliyev said Rouhani's re-election means the Iranian nation believes in his efforts to develop the country. The other candidates received 500 thousand votes.

The contentiousness of the campaign could make it more hard for Rouhani to secure the consent of hardliners to carry out his agenda, said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University. But he did not congratulate Mr Rouhani for his victory. Rouhani has been unable to secure the release of reformist leaders from house arrest.

A total of 23.549 mln voters (57% of those who participated in the vote) cast their ballots in favor of Rouhani, the minister said.

Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, said the landslide win gives Rouhani a mandate he lacked in his first term.

Many experts are sceptical that a president can effect a huge change in the country as he is subordinate to the supreme leader, who is chosen by a clerical panel and has veto power over all policies and control over the security forces.

"Our elections indicated to the neighbors and the region that the way to restore security to the region is to shore up democracy and honor the people's votes rather than to rely on foreign powers", Rouhani added.

Although Rouhani brought inflation down from around 40 percent when he took office in 2013, prices are still rising at nine percent a year.

  • Leroy Wright