Iran has re-elected Hassan Rouhani for a second term as president – promising continued outreach to the wider world.

State TV declared Rouhani the winner on Saturday after voting for him and competitor Ebrahim Raisi closed the previous day.

The 68-year-old has come to embody more liberal and reform-minded Iranians’ hopes for domestic political freedom and international integration.

He will now embark on a second four-year term.

The government’s interior minister said Rouhani polled 23.5 million votes.

Officials say more than 40 million people voted.

In 2015, Rouhani’s government struck a deal with global powers in which Iran promised to end its nuclear weapons programme in return for the international community lifting sanctions imposed on Tehran.

But this has been a slow process, resulting in Rouhani losing support from some of those who first swept him to power in 2013.

This time round Rouhani again campaigned to maintain links with the outside world.

His opponent, Raisi, a clerical judge, represented a far more conservative outlook.

Raisi promoted economic self-reliance and a withdrawal from dependence on global links.

He was also critical of reformists, saying the nuclear deal had been a failure for ordinary people.

In recent years, Iran has had huge success in sending millions of entrepreneurs and graduate students to live and work in the US.

But Iran itself remains a highly isolated country and sanctions are only slowly being lifted.

And tough political decisions now lay ahead for the country of 80 million people as the government tries to cure its 25% unemployment rate.



Source

World News

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