After Hassan Rouhani’s surprise first-round victory in the Presidential election, the long preparation for a change of Government began on Sunday.
Rouhani does not take office until 3 August, and then the far-from-small matter of Pariamentary approval of his Ministers is likely to take more weeks. So the negotiations over how much power he will have within the Iranian system are likely to be protracted.
The process started yesterday with Rouhani’s public-relations appearances with figures such as the Supreme Leader and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, as other groups such as the Revolutionary Guards pledged their co-operation.
On the surface, all was harmony, but highest levels of the regime continued to put out the message that Rouhani will be deferring to Ayatollah Khamenei and the system. The almost-embarrassed belittling of Rouhani’s victory on Saturday by State media, with the mantra being the high voter turnout, was followed on Sunday by subtle but clear reference to the Supreme Leader’s authority.
Meanwhile, State media have moved to less dramatic declarations of the Islamic Republic’s greatness and prosperity — Press TV headlines with a “Resistance Arts Festival” and Armenia-Iran electricity deals — while denouncing foreign interventions in Syria.
US Officials Put Out Their Spin on Nukes: “Don’t Expect Much”
American officials put out their reaction to the Rouhani victory, in particular, the prospects for discussions on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The only problem is that long-time outlet David Sanger of The New York Times mis-hears the message: “US Seems Eager for Nuclear Talks With Iran’s New Leader“.
Instead, the text in the article makes clear that Washington is setting up for another round of talks — possibly the final one — and blame on Tehran if American terms are not met:
While the election of the new president, Hassan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator who is considered a moderate compared with the other candidates, was greeted by some administration officials as the best of all likely outcomes, they said it did not change the fact that only the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would make the final decision about any concessions to the West.
Even so, they said they wanted to test Mr. Rowhani quickly, noting that although he argued for a moderate tone in dealing with the United States and its allies when he was a negotiator, he also boasted in 2006 that Iran had used a previous suspension of nuclear enrichment to make major strides in building its nuclear infrastructure.
Footage from Iranian State TV showing the IRGC, Police and Army congratulating the President-elect, Hassan Rouhani.
Qalibaf: “We Will Also Work With Rouhani”
Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf said Monday morning that “everyone must help the elected government”.
“The season of work and empathy has begun,” Qalibaf told a meeting of his supporters and campaign team members.
— محمّدباقر قالیباف (@Qalibaf92) June 17, 2013
Qalibaf told his supporters that they should thank God for realizing the political epic, as called for by the Supreme Leader, in its best and most glorious form.
The outgoing mayor said that his task, and that of his supporters, was to begin working with camaraderie in order to honor Iran.
Lead nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has said that he plans to support the new administration and President-elect Hassan Rouhani.
— Saeed Jalili (@DrSaeedJalili) June 16, 2013
In a ceremony following the election results, Jalili said that “our work has only just begun”.
Jalili said that the elections were a “great victory” for the Iranian people, who came out to support the Islamic Republic’s system of velayat-e faqih: “just as we saw during the Holy Defense [the Iran-Iraq War”].
During the campaigning, Jalili’s campaign team harshly criticized the performance of Rouhani during his tenure as chief nuclear negotiator, accusing him of making concessions to the West.
Jalili’s campaign team posted this video of the post-election results ceremony.
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