Iranian President Rouhani’s Landslide Reelection

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Iranian President Rouhani’s Landslide Reelection
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, Hassan Rouhani triumphed overwhelmingly with a 57.1% majority over his main challenger, Ebrahim Raeisi getting 38.3%. 
A total of 41.2 million votes were cast. Two other aspirants got around 700,000 votes between them. It was a two-candidate race, four competing, two others withdrew ahead of Friday’s vote.
Turnout was heavy at around 73%, voting hours extended to 10:00PM to accommodate everyone wishing to cast ballots. 
Turnout in America’s November 2016 presidential election was 54.7%. In midterm congressional and local elections, it’s well below 50%. In 2014, it was 36.4%, down from 40.9% in 2010.
As president and head of state,  Rouhani will serve another four-year term. Following his reelection, Islamic Revolution leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a statement, saying:
“The winner of the yesterday’s elections is you, the Iranian people, and the Islamic establishment, which has managed to win the increasing trust of this big nation despite the enemies’ plot and effort.”
On Saturday, Vladimir Putin congratulated Rouhani, affirming his readiness to go on with active joint work in the further development of Russian-Iranian partner cooperation both in terms of bilateral and international agendas.”
He “expressed confidence in the further successful implementation of agreements, including those reached during Hassan Rouhani’s recent official visit to Russia, in the interests of the friendly peoples of the two countries, and within the framework of joint efforts to sustain stability and security in the Middle East, the Far East and in the world in general.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted “Iranians took passionately part to political life of their country. I congratulate President @HassanRouhani for strong mandate received.”
Trump and bipartisan congressional neocons remain implacably hostile to Iran, noticeably not invited to meet with him in Riyadh.
On May 17, new illegal sanctions were imposed. The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) lied, saying “Iran has compiled one of the world’s most egregious records on human rights since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, and its conduct has only grown worse in recent years.” 
“Addressing Iran’s continued human rights violations and abuses remains a high priority for the US government. (W)e will continue to work with authorities granted by Congress as well as use existing executive orders to sanction persons involved in abuses of human rights in Iran.”
Longstanding US plans call for regime change – by color revolution or naked aggression. The issue is Iranian sovereign independence and Washington wanting control of its immense oil and gas reserves, along with eliminating Israel’s key regional rival, nothing else.
In June 2013, Rouhani was first elected Iran’s president, triumphing decisively over his closest challenger. He’s limited to two terms.
Throughout his political and diplomatic career, he’s held numerous high-level positions, including five terms in parliament, its speaker during his last two terms.
He combines diplomacy, politics and scholarship. Earlier known as the “Diplomat Sheikh,” he’s written many books, articles and research papers, published in Farsi, Arabic and English.
Washington and Israel pose his greatest challenge, especially with hardliners running both countries.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.