Rouhani's hardest challenge may be Iran's hopes — AP Analysis

Tillerson, who is accompanying US President Donald Trump on his first visit overseas to Saudi Arabia, said that deals worth $350 billion have been signed between US companies and Saudi Arabia during the president's first day in Riyadh.

In response to Trump's stand, US-Iranian author and commentator Trita Parsi wrote, "Just when Iranians voted overwhelmingly for openness and engagement with [the] world, Trump clenched his fist and responded by calling for Iran's isolation".

In the final days of the presidential campaign, various global media reports had indicated that Rouhani had re-fashioned himself in the image of a reformist, as part of an effort to overcome voter apathy in the wake of a first term that led to no significant change in the domestic situation.

Yet most hardline politicians have been more reserved, at least in public, choosing to follow Khamenei's lead in saying that the election's high turnout was a victory for the Islamic ruling system, without focusing on the outcome.

Rouhani decisively won a second term in Friday's election with more than 57 percent of the vote.

He also brings revenue that the IRGC needs to secure its power and arm, finance and support Shiite militias and proxies across the region.

Vardan Voskanyan also noted that Iran will continue its involvement in Syria and Lebanon processes and will maintain influential leverages in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen, continuing to ensure serious presence in Afghanistan developments.

"The people say no to the downfall of the supreme leader, Guard, Basij and armed forces, because they belong to the entire Iranian nation", he said. "I hope it can settle so that we can have a better judgement about those in Washington".

"He (Trump) must have now realized that the policy of Iranophobia and rehashing expired allegations (against Iran) is a failed and useless policy", Qassemi added.

President Rouhani enjoyed significant support in the major cities among the young and professional class voters.

President Trump and conservative Republicans have called for the repeal of the nuclear accord, but last week re-authorized its sanction waivers.

Donald Trump should spend his time in Riyadh discussing how to avoid Saudi Arabians "carrying out another" 9/11 atrocity in the United States instead of making baseless claims about terrorism against other countries, Iran's foreign minister has said.

During the visit, Dr Rouhani paid tribute to the martyrs of Tir 7th, Shahrivar 8th, and the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution.

"Khamenei and conservatives in his office still run the show, are close to vested interests, and will make structural change hard", Iran watcher Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, wrote shortly after Rouhani's win.

  • Leroy Wright