The New York Times reports: Iranians came out in force to dance in the streets this weekend, breaking Islamic rules, to celebrate the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani by a large margin.
Emboldened by the election results, others gathered in the capital, Tehran, to begin demanding what they hope a second term for Mr. Rouhani will bring: the release of opposition figures, more freedom of thought and fewer restrictions on daily life.
Mr. Rouhani’s supporters also expect the victory to bolster his outreach efforts to the West and the pursuit of more foreign investment in Iran’s ailing economy. His win, with 57 percent of the vote, came the same weekend that President Trump was meeting with Saudi and other Arab leaders to discuss, in part, a strengthened alliance against Iran.
For those who had voted for Mr. Rouhani, there was a feeling of tremendous relief that his challenger, the hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who criticized the nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers, had lost. [Continue reading…]