Iran’s Rouhani Wins Second Term

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a second term by a wide margin on Saturday, claiming 57 percent of the vote. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced the election results in a televised news conference, saying Rouhani won 23.5 million votes out of 41.2 million ballots. The announcement came after 99 percent of the ballots were counted, with authorities expected to announce the final results later on Saturday. In a speech after his win, Rouhani said his re-election would show Iran is ready for warm foreign relations “based on mutual respect and its national interests.” But he also added that the country will not tolerate “humiliation and threats,” a warning he aimed at “world powers.” Rouhani’s victory came as no surprise to most Iranian voters, with even one of his rivals predicting his win before the final election results were announced. Mostafa Hashemitaba, a pro-reform candidate, called to congratulate the Iranian president on his second four-year term early Saturday. “Rouhani will apply his ever-increasing efforts for the dignity of Iran,” Hashemitaba said in his congratulatory statement. Rouhani’s closest opponent, hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, trailed behind with 38 percent of the vote. Rouhani, widely seen as a moderate in Iran, had railed against hard-line policies during his campaign, calling for more liberal policies.