Rouhani looks set to secure second term in Iran

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said: "I congratulate the great victory of the Iranian nation in creating a huge and memorable epic in the continuation of the path of "wisdom and hope", referring to the government's slogan.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to have secured a convincing election victory with voters backing his efforts to rebuild foreign ties, as initial results were announced on Saturday.

Iranian news media reported that 75 percent of eligible voters cast ballots Friday, in line with Iran's typically large voter turnout, which has not fallen below 60 percent for a presidential election in 20 years.

Rouhani beat his main challenger, Ebrahim Raisi, by almost 19 percentage points in an election that saw high turnout at the polls.

Shortly before polls were due to close, state television reported that voting had been extended by nearly five hours to 11 p.m.to cope with the "rush of voters". President Donald Trump has repeatedly described it as "one of the worst deals ever signed", although his administration re-authorised waivers from sanctions this week.

The election was a victory for moderate and reformist Iranians who have sought an end to their country's worldwide isolation and a relaxation of social restrictions imposed by the conservative mullahs.

As Iran's chief nuclear envoy, Hassan Rouhani earned the nickname "diplomat sheikh" when negotiators in 2004 reached a deal that saw the Islamic Republic halt all its enrichment of uranium.

Abe stressed that he is looking forward to working with Rouhani to further promote Japanese-Iranian relations.

Rouhani "will aim to influence the trajectory of both domestic and foreign policy towards moderation and greater opening with worldwide powers", said Ellie Geranmayeh, senior policy fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations.

Voters fill in their ballots while voting for the presidential and municipal councils election at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, May 19, 2017. However, he was suddenly faced with a serious challenge of Raisi, who is a protégé of Supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Iran has re-elected its president, Hassan Rouhani, in the country's first election since its nuclear agreement with the U.S.

Iran "is not ready to accept humiliation and threat", Rouhani continued. That puts turnout above 70 per cent. "His sarcastic comments against the Supreme Leader and the security forces show he wants to pick a fight".

The prime minister, in a message of felicitation to the Iranian president, said the Iranian people had chosen President Rouhani to guide the country with his visionary and astute leadership, through which Iran had made significant achievements in all the national and global domains. All candidates for elected office must be vetted, a process that excludes anyone calling for radical change, along with most reformists.

  • Leroy Wright