Decisively re-elected, Rouhani defies hardliners, pledges to open Iran

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Published on 21 May 2017, 14:43
Throwing down a defiant challenge to his hardline opponents after securing a decisive re-election for a second term, on Saturday President Hassan Rouhani pledged to open Iran to the world and deliver freedoms its people have yearned for.
Rouhani is long known as a cautious and mild-mannered establishment insider. He reinvented himself as a bold champion of reform during the election campaign, which culminated on Friday in victory with more than 57 percent of the vote. His main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, received 38 percent.
Rouhani appeared to openly defy conservative judges by praising the spiritual leader of the reform camp, former President Mohammad Khatami in his first televised speech after the result. A court has banned quoting or naming Khatami on air.
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