As Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani emerged victorious in the Friday’s presidential election and secured a second term by winning an absolute majority of the votes, congratulatory messages poured in from leaders of the regional countries and neighbors.
After the outcome of the 12th presidential election showed a landslide victory for President Rouhani, top officials from around the world sent him congratulatory messages.
On Saturday, President of Iraq Fuad Masoum congratulated his Iranian counterpart’s election win, and wished prosperity and progress for the Iranian nation.
The other congratulatory messages came from Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said, President of Lebanon Michel Naim Aoun, Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, Prime Minister of India Narendra Damodardas Modi, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
More messages poured in also from Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) Ammar Hakim and Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
In Iran’s presidential election, Rouhani garnered 23,549,616 votes from a total of 41,220,131 ballots. The runner-up, Ebrahim Raisi, secured only 38.5% of the votes.
No sitting president in Iran has failed to win a second term since 1981.
During the previous presidential election in June 2013, Rouhani had emerged victorious by winning 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes. He had won more than three times as many votes as his closest challenger.
Rouhani, a reformist, is a Muslim cleric and a lawyer with strong religious and revolutionary credentials. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, President Rouhani used to preach against the Shah (the toppled king of Iran), and had to change his name to avoid detection by the secret services. He joined the parliament after the revolution and held major posts such as head of the Supreme National Security Council.
After taking the office in 2013, President Rouhani managed to conclude nuclear negotiations with the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) which resulted in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 159-page agreement that put certain restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in return for a lifting of the sanctions and the unfreezing of billions of dollars in Iranian assets.