Iran Primer's Blog
The Iranian press issued both praise and warnings after the election of Hassan Rouhani. In their editorials, reformist publications said the victory by a moderate cleric reflected a rejection of the status quo in politics, the economy and foreign policy. Newspapers heralded the beginning of a new era. The conservative press said the high turnout proved the popularity and legitimacy of Iran’s unique form of theocratic rule and the “ineffectiveness” of sanctions. But hardline commentators also warned that the stunning outcome did not mean Iran would accept “foreign hegemony.” The following is a collection of editorials translated by the BBC Monitoring Service.
Hassan Rouhani, the lone reformist candidate, won Iran’s presidential election with 50.7 percent of the vote. The cleric avoided the need for a run-off by securing more than half of the nearly 37 million votes. Mohammad Baqer-Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, came in at a distant second with less than 17 percent, followed by Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei, Ali Akbar Velayati and Mohammad Gharazi. The interior ministry reported a high turnout of about 73 percent and declared about 1.2 million ballots invalid. The following chart reflects the final results.
The following is a video of the results announcement with English subtitles.
The following video shows Rouhani's supporters celebrating in the streets of Shiraz, a major southwestern city.
- Fars News posts photos of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei casting the first ballot of the day and saying, “The fate of the country and the prosperity of the nation are dependent on the participation and the people’s selection, and the nation’s votes are trusted in the hands of the election officials.”
- Mehr News reports former candidate Mohammed Reza Aref predicting that over 70% of the people will vote in the presidential election and that “the election will be stretched to a second round run-off vote.” Mehr News posts a series of photos of former candidate Mohammed Reza Aref who voted early in the morning alongside his wife at the crowded Hosseiniyeh Ershad Mosque, which has symbolic value for Iranian reformists. Aref was asked what candidates should do once the election is over. Aref responded, “They should thank those who worked for alongside them and congratulate the victor.”
- ISNA posts photos of former president Mohammed Khatami enthusiastically voting today. Photos of Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei, Ali Akbar Velayati, and former president Hashemi Rafsanjani were all posted as well.
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani voted at the Imam Askari Mosque in the city of Qom today and afterwards said, “Today Iran is faced with cruel and international pressure, and the power of the participation of the people has given the system double the amount of energy, which will provide fundamental changes to our international situation.” ISNA posted photos of Larijani voting today.
- The governor of Tehran announced that there will be 12,000 officials supervising the polling stations around the country for the presidential and local city elections.
- Fars News posts a series of photos of election officials with their security escorts delivering ballot boxes to their respective polling stations. Mehr News posts photos of ballot box distribution as well.
- ISNA posts photos of the Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic voting today, photos of current candidate Mohammed Gharazi, as well as photos of former candidate Gholam Reza Hadad Adel voting.
- Fars News posts a set of photos of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi voting today in the city of Qom, as well as photos of the Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, voting in a neighborhood near the University of Imam Sadegh in Tehran.
- ISNA posts six sets of photos of Iranians voting in Tehran. Set one, Set two, Set three, Set four, Set five, Set six.
Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani at the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars offers the latest news on the 2013 Iranian presidential election, based on a selection of Iranian news sources. Click here for a pdf version.
Iranian elections are highly unpredictable due to the number of candidates and short campaigns. Polls for the 2013 presidential race were initially all over the map. But some polls now indicate that the two leading candidates are Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf. The other four are Mohammad Gharazi, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei and Ali Akbar Velayati. Not all of the polls conducted in Iran are uniform in methodology. These are sample polls taken during the last two weeks of the campaign by Mehr News Agency in Iran and the U.S.-based Information and Public Opinion Solutions. About 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote on June 14.
IPOS: Rouhani Soars, Voters Begin to Decide
Mehr: Qalibaf Slips
By Garrett Nada and Helia Ighani
A quarter century later, the Iran-Iraq War looms over Iran’s presidential election as if it happened yesterday. All six candidates participated in the grizzliest modern Middle East conflict as fighters, commanders or officials. Over the past month, the campaign has evolved into a feisty competition over who sacrificed and served the most in the eight-year war.
A leading candidate lost a leg. Another candidate commanded the Revolutionary Guards. A third liberated an oil-rich frontline city. A fourth brokered the dramatic ceasefire.
Garrett Nada is a Program Assistant in the Center for Conflict Management at the United States Institute of Peace.
Helia Ighani is recent graduate from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.