Dr. Rouhani has won a second term in the 2017 Presidential Election in Iran. Nearly 70% of Iranian voters turned out on May 19 to cast their ballots for the next President. Vote tallies placed incumbent President Hassan Rouhani as the winner with 23 million votes, overshadowing the runner-up, Mr. Ebrahim Raisi who received 15.7 million. With the support of 57% of voters, President Rouhani will have a strong mandate to continue his moderate policies and outreach to the West.
The American Iranian Council congratulates President Rouhani on his victory, wishes him luck in his second term, and hopes that he will be able to effectively lead the country towards prosperity in this turbulent time. President Rouhani must now move beyond the competition and become the President for all Iranians, defending their rights and solving their problems. We also urge his competitors in this election to accept the result and cooperate with President Rouhani towards a better Iran.
Latest: U.S. Sees Iran Working to Preserve Nuclear Deal The latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on global threats: The Trump administration's national intelligence director says the U.S. sees Iran working to maintain last year's nuclear agreement. Tehran's rationale is that by sticking to the deal, it gets relief from U.S. sanctions and preserves some nuclear capabilities. Dan Coats tells the Senate intelligence committee that the deal extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon. He cites the Obama administration's estimates that the timeline has been delayed from a few months to about a year. Coats also says the deal has enhanced transparency of Iran's nuclear activities. (U.S. News)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson certified to Congress that Iran was complying with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, before a statutory midnight deadline, while also insisting Iran remained "a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods" and indicating that the Trump administration would evaluate the JCPOA-related suspension of sanctions and whether it was "vital to the national security interests of the United States."
"President Trump… has realized that tearing up a highly complex and multinational agreement is not a wise thing to do at this time," Farideh Farhi, an independent scholar and affiliate graduate faculty member at University of Hawaii-Manoa, told Reason.
"Note that under the Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the president has to provide certification every 90 days. Had the Trump administration not done so, it would have triggered legislative procedures and potential reimpositions of sanctions, which would then declare the U.S. intent to renege on its JCPOA obligations," she added.
Our latest Iran Chat is with Dr. David Collier, author of the new book, Democracy and the Nature of American Influence in Iran 1941-1979. Dr. Collier is also a research consultant in Washington DC and teaches democracy and democratization in Boston University's Washington DC program.
The first half of our conversation focuses on Dr. Collier's usage of linkage and leverage to analyze and better understand the history of the period; the second half addresses how his analysis of the history applies to current issues in US-Iran relations and US foreign policy more generally. Dr. Collier's book is being published this month; you can purchase a copy on Amazon or Syracuse University Press.
By Michael Schwartz, Kriyana Reddy, and Dr. Reza Ghorashi
Over one year has passed since the formal implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the US and P5+1 members (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK), which lifted certain “nuclear-related secondary sanctions,” on various Iranian business sectors. All parties to the JCPOA agreed to implementing it “in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere” and to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to ... affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.” While initially the JCPOA was met with optimism, critics in both Tehran and Washington have challenged the effectiveness and potential benefits of the agreement. Iranian public opinion remains steadfastly in support of the deal, but the reality of Iran’s long transition from economic isolation has curbed some enthusiasm. While the JCPOA has created significant opportunities for economic growth and normalization, the Iranian public has not yet seen many tangible economic benefits.
Iran, with its population of nearly 80 million people and recent relief from sanctions, offers significant opportunities for growth, international investment and modernization in its already strong food and beverage industry. Currently, 90% of food and beverage sales are conducted through traditional small grocery outlets and local bakeries. In 2014, 96% of bakery sales were for staples like bread. But, in a country where 65% of the population is under the age of 35, tastes are changing and companies are modernizing and targeting younger consumers by rebranding or adding new products and flavors.