Middle East

'Moderation' won in Iran, analysts say

Iranian supporters of presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani celebrate in Tehran
Image caption Supporters of Hassan Rouhani celebrated his victory on the streets of Tehran

The election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran's president can be read either as a vote for change, or as an affirmation of popular support for the Islamic system, according to commentators.

But there is some agreement that the outcome is a victory for "moderation".

Reformist analysts see it as a rejection of current policies. They highlight Iran's economic troubles and the impact of its foreign and nuclear policies.

Conservative commentators focus on how the high turnout has confounded Iran's critics.

Editorial in reformist daily Mardom Salari

"The vote for Hassan Rouhani is a sign that people reject the current state of affairs and want to remove power from the fundamentalists... It was a vote for his two great supporters, [disqualified candidates] Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami... The other main message is the public's interest in changing the way nuclear negotiations are carried out."

Commentary in reformist daily E'temad

"People have shown that they disagree with the country's foreign policy over the last eight years, which has led to four [UN] resolutions against Iran... Dissatisfaction over the disqualification of Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani also gave a boost to Rouhani."

Commentary in reformist daily E'temad

"A new political landscape has been created... This opportunity could result in political prisoners being freed and the lifting of the siege on [reformist] presidential election candidates from 2009 and basic steps toward reforming the economy."

Commentary in reformist daily Bahar

"Even reformism is going toward moderation and the centre... Both sides must move toward the centre and protect the country's political atmosphere from radicalisation."

Commentary in reformist daily Sharq

"The new president must take control of the economic plan... and start the engine of production, employment, and growth."

Commentary in reformist daily Sharq

Conservatives "should not be dissatisfied with this outcome, because the dominant discourse in the election was that of moderation, which is also among their main objectives".

Editorial in moderate daily Arman

"The economic burden on the have-nots, unprecedented unemployment and price increases are among the reasons for the high turnout. The impact of economic sanctions is key. It seems that people voted for Rouhani to express their wish for moderate, peaceful policies."

Editorial in hard-line conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami

The vote represents "the acceptance of moderation and the rejection of extremist thought... Moderation does not mean accepting international hegemony and ignoring the rights of the Iranian nation."

Commentary in hard-line conservative daily Javan

"The Islamic Republic has passed this election test in a proper way... The winner should learn from the Ahmadinejad years and the reformist era and not follow the same path. Rather, he should address the concerns of the people."

Commentary in hard-line conservative daily Keyhan

"Enemy think tanks are in a spin... Their mistake was in ignoring the depth of the people's belief in the Islamic System... The election proved the ineffectiveness of sanctions... [It] also showed the world that there was no vote rigging and fraud in the free elections."

Editorial in conservative daily Khorasan

"The participation of 72.7% of eligible voters indicates that the people followed the Supreme Leader's [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] call for an epic political act to protect the country and the Islamic system."

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