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.
President Rouhani faces major domestic and foreign obstacles in his second term. The three critical areas he must address are (1) economic malaise as a result of political mismanagement and the remaining sanctions; (2) the sustainability of the JCPOA, and (3) reduction of tensions with Washington.
President Rouhani has outlined his position on these issues during his campaign, stating, for example, “If we want a better economy, we should not let groups with security and political backing to get involved in the economy.” President Rouhani’s second term could usher in a period of transformation for Iran, ending its international isolation, revamping the economy, and establishing closer relations with regional countries and beyond. Rouhani has been particularly open about social issues during his campaign, making statements like, “We won’t accept gender discrimination, we won’t accept gender oppression… we want social and political freedom.”
We hope that this historic endorsement by the Iranian people for Dr. Rouhani will be a turning point for resolving the current crises facing Iran and usher in a new chapter in US-Iran relations.