August 20, 2014 20:25 UTC

In the News

Reformer Wins Surprise Victory in Iranian Presidential Election

Iran's former nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, has been elected as the new president of Iran.
Iran's former nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, has been elected as the new president of Iran.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Reformer Wins Surprise Victory in Iranian Presidential Election


From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.

Last week, voters in Iran elected 64-year-old Shi’ite clergyman Hassan Rowhani president. The reform candidate had criticized Iran’s current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and repression of civil society. Days before the vote, Mr. Rowhani promised Iranians he would bring major changes.

President-elect Hassan Rowhani had not been considered likely to win. But, Iranians gave him more than 51 percent of the vote. He described the election as a “victory of moderation over extremism.”  

He promised to undo all of the locks that he said had been placed on the Iranian people in the past eight years.
 
Western diplomats have praised the new president for his diplomatic skills when he served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Mr. Rowhani resigned that position after the election of President Ahmadinejad. Negotiations over the country’s disputed nuclear program did not progress during Mr. Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
 
Iran says it has an undisputed right to nuclear development. It says its nuclear enrichment activities are for its own medical and energy uses. Israel, the United States and some other western nations suspect that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.
 
Mr. Rowhani began his campaign as one of eight men approved to run for president by the religious and legal experts of Iran’s Guardian Council. The Council blocked more than 600 other candidates. All the women candidates were blocked, as was former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
 
When two of the eight approved candidates withdrew, Mr. Rowhani  became the only reform candidate.
 
During the campaign, Mr. Rowhani spoke of Iran’s separation from the rest of the world and the economic effects of the nuclear dispute. Western restrictions that limit Iran’s oil exports have severely reduced Iran’s foreign income.  The official inflation rate is 30 percent and increasing yearly. Many young people in Iran are unemployed.

Mr. Rowhani also spoke to voters of the need to free political prisoners and guarantee civil rights. He had been very critical of government attacks against peaceful demonstrations that followed the disputed presidential elections in 2009. Iranians marched for days to protest what they believed to be a dishonest vote count. 
 
News reports said Iranians seemed uninterested in this presidential election until reform leaders from the 2009 elections declared support for Mr. Rowhani. Statements from former president Mohammad Khatami and former president Rafsanjani pushed Mr. Rowhani to a strong lead.
 
Although his campaign statements were critical of current conditions, President-elect Rowhani has been part of the country’s leadership since 1979. At that time, a revolution created the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Rowhani is to be sworn in on August 3. Iranians hoping for reforms are waiting to see who the new president will include in his cabinet.
 
And that’s In the News, written by Onka Dekker. I’m Faith Lapidus.




This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mehdi from: Iran
06/25/2013 6:26 PM
I'm an Iranian. What the lies you say to your people and world's people! If some of Iranian had believed the former election was not honest but many of Iranian think another way. and know Mr. Rowhani have said that he has not agree with demonstrations. What the lies you say!


by: olimar oliveira from: Caetite, Bahia, Brasil
06/25/2013 6:12 PM
“victory of moderation over extremism.”
Really, The iranian people is tired, poor and are waiting of reforms.
Improve the relation with western, The new elected president defended the human rights and negociations for to improve de people condition.


Learn with The News

  • Founders Chef Ype Von Hengst (right  and Robert Giaimo during construction of the first Silver Diner in 1989. (Courtesy of Silver Diner)

    Audio Diners Increase Business with Healthy Food

    Restaurants called “diners” can be found throughout the United States. They make simple, low-cost food. But traditional diner food is often unhealthy. One group of diners is cooking healthier food for their customers and, surprisingly, they love it. More

  • Edie Mukiibi, the new vice president of Slow Food International, at a school garden he helped create in Mukono, Uganda, July 22, 2014. (Hilary Heuler/VOA)

    Audio Learning to Grow Traditional Foods in Uganda

    The "slow food" movement is growing in the Western world, but not in Africa. Group works to help people in Uganda and other countries grow local, healthy food. | Agriculture Report More

  • A man is lead away after being detained by police. Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.

    Audio More Than 70 Arrested in Missouri Protests

    Police arrested more than 70 protestors and reporters Monday night and early Tuesday in the central U.S. town of Ferguson, Missouri. The demonstrators were protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer on August 9. More

  • Demonstrators stand in the middle of West Florissant as they react to tear gas fired by police during ongoing protests in reaction to the shooting of teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, August 18, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Ta

    Audio Police Actions Cause Anger

    Many Americans are angry about the police use of military practices and equipment, like rubber bullets and tear gas, against protestors in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. Protests happened after the recent deaths of unarmed civilians when they clashed with police officers. More

  • FILE - A Lowland Gorilla is seen in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Audio Ebola Kills More Than Humans

    The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus has taken more than 1,000 human lives in West Africa. But it is also killed many endangered western lowland gorillas. More

Featured Stories

  • sleep

    While You Sleep, Your Brain Works

    While we sleep, our brains are doing much more than getting ready for the next day. Researchers at the University of Rochester found that the brain may be busy cleaning house -- cleaning out harmful waste materials. More

  • Biltmore Outdoor

    Audio Biltmore Estate Takes Visitors Back in Time

    The huge home in North Carolina was built at the end of the 1800s. The man who owned the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina was George Vanderbilt. Biltmore has 250 rooms and the house is now open to the public. | This Is America More

  • Audio English at the Movies: Robin Williams

    Robin Williams was a humorist and a highly-trained actor. We look at some of his most famous movie lines from a Learning English angle | American Mosaic More

  • Audio From Huge to Extra Small, at New York City Museum

    Currently the Queens Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York World's Fair. The museum show is called “Bringing the World Into the World.” It includes a huge model of New York City that was made for the fair. | American Mosaic More

  • Some considered John Brown a hero.

    Audio John Brown Raids Harpers Ferry

    In October of 1859, a group of anti-slavery extremists attacked the town of Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was part of Virginia then; today it is located in West Virginia. A man named John Brown led the attack. His group seized a gun factory and a center where the government kept military equipment. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs