When Iranians elected moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani their new president by a landslide on Friday, they surprised Washington and the world. The process of figuring out what his election means has only just begun. Moderate as applied to Iranian mullah politicians is a relative term – even the reformists tip the far conservative end of the political spectrum — but Rouhani’s win represents an opportunity for easing relations between Iran and the West. The country is still led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the Supreme Leader indicated that he would allow Rouhani to engage in direct talks with the U.S., should he so wish.
Rouhani won with more than 50% of the vote, garnering more votes than all five of the hardliner candidates put together. He ran on a platform of moderation and rationality. He called for opening talks with the west, and placing the economy ahead – or at least…
View original post 1,469 more words