Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moderate Iranian President?

I think it's amusing the way the American media have portrayed the new Iranian president as a moderate. It's rather like calling Rand Paul a moderate of the Tea Party in the USA.

Iran Moderate Wins Presidency by a Large Margin

In a striking repudiation of the ultraconservatives who wield power in Iran, voters here overwhelmingly elected a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.

The cleric, Hassan Rowhani, 64, won a commanding 50.7 percent of the vote in the six-way race, according to final results released Saturday...

Thousands of jubilant supporters poured into the streets of Tehran, dancing, blowing car horns and waving placards and ribbons of purple, Mr. Rowhani’s campaign color...

But if the election was a victory for reform and middle class voters, it also served the conservative goals of the supreme leader, restoring at least a patina of legitimacy to the theocratic state, providing a safety valve for a public distressed by years of economic malaise and isolation, and returning a cleric to the presidency...

Analysts predict at least some change. The president can set the tone of debate on issues from socializing rules for young people to the need for the nuclear program. He will also have some control over the economy — the public’s primary concern lately...

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