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Khamenei Does Not Congratulate Rouhani on His Second Term | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A supporter of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani holds his poster as she celebrates his victory in the presidential election, in Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS

London- President Hassan Rouhani pledged, during a televised speech delivered on Saturday evening, to deliver on his promises by expanding internal freedoms and opening Iran to the world.

“Our nation’s message in the election was clear: Iran’s nation chose the path of interaction with the world, away from violence and extremism,” Rouhani said after the announcement of his victory in the presidential race for a second term, referring to the “revolutionary” slogans of his main challenger, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Rouhani won Friday’s election with more than 57 percent of the votes, which equal 23.5 million, against Raisi, who received 38 percent and two other candidates: Mostafa Hashemitaba and Mostafa Mirsalim.

On Saturday, Rouhani said that Iranians said ‘No’ to those who wanted to take Iran back to the past.

However, the President said: “The election is now over. I am the president of the nation and I need assistance from every single Iranian, even those who oppose me and my policies.”

Following the announcement of the results, Khamenei issued a statement praising Iranians for their big turnout in the election and called for the improvement of the country’s economic situation. However, Khamenei did not congratulate Rouhani on his victory, unlike in the 2013 election.

Raisi also has not congratulated Rouhani, but instead called on the new president to respect the opinions of 16 million voters who supported him and who had called for a change in Iran, Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced that around 73 percent of eligible voters, which equal 41.2 million, had participated in the election.

Several Iranian media outlets broadcasted segments of the celebrations staged by Rouhani’s supporters after the announcement of the results.

Pro-Rouhani media outlets mocked reformists who had raised the slogan of “Rouhani will leave at the end of this week,” during their presidential campaigns.

Last Friday, in addition to the presidential election, Iranian voters also participated in the Village Councils Elections.