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Hassan Rouhani Wins Iran's Presidential Election 2013


June 16, 2013

The Iranian nation elected Hassan Rouhani as the Islamic Republic's president for the next 4 years.

Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Saturday evening that from a total number of 36,704,156 ballots cast in Iran's 11th presidential election on Friday June 14, Rouhani won 18,613,329 votes, accounting for 52.49% of the votes cast in the election, while his main rival Mohammad Qalibaf could secure only 6,077,292 votes.

Hassan Rouhani, born on November 12, 1948, is an Iranian politician and Shiite Jurisprudent.

He has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Expediency Council since 1991, member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.

Rouhani has been also vice-speaker of the 4th and 5th terms of the Iranian Parliament and secretary of the SNSC from 1989 to 2005.

Rouhani was the country's top negotiator with the world powers on Iran's nuclear program for 16 years.

Iran's chief negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili stood 3rd with 4,168,946 votes.

Former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander and current Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezayee Mir-Qaed secured 3,884,412 votes and ranked 4th in the race for the Islamic Republic's top executive post.

Iran's former Foreign Minister and Supreme Leader's senior Advisor for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati gained 2,268,753 votes and former Iranian Oil and Telecommunications Minister Seyed Mohammad Qarazi came last with 446,015 ballots cast in his favor.

The Interior Ministry's election headquarters said turnout among the electorate was 72.7 percent.

It also said spoilt votes stood at 1,245,409.

A number of 50,483,192 people were eligible to vote in the elections. 1.6 million youths came to be eligible to vote for the first time in their lives as the voting age in Iran is above 18 according to the law.

The 11th presidential and the 4th city and village councils elections were held at some 58,764 polling stations in Iran and 96 other world countries on Friday.

Campaigning for the June 14 presidential election kicked off in Iran on May 22 after the Guardian Council released the list of 8 qualified candidates, although only 6 remained for the race.

The qualified candidates represented a wide range of political streams from Principlists to reformists.

MP: High Public Turnout in Elections to Solve Many Foreign Policy Problems

June 16, 2013

The spirited public turnout in the Friday elections will help Iran resolve many of its foreign policy issues, member of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Esmayeel Kowsari stressed.

"The magnificent and spirited large public turnout will certainly (help) settle a large number of problems, including those in the area of foreign policy," Kowsari told FNA on Saturday.

The parliamentarian referred to the broad coverage given by the foreign media to the epical presence of the Iranian nation in the yesterday elections, and said people's full-scale presence on the scene introduced them as a role model at international level.

"Any president with such a strong backing can raise his demands very decisively in the world and pursue Iran's national interests at both the regional and international levels."

He also pointed to the impacts of the people's large turnout in the yesterday election on the western threats against Iran, and said that after observing the extent of the Iranian nation's support for their leader, "the enemies will definitely revise their policy of threatening Iran".

Polling was heavy since the very beginning. Reports from various media outlets said Friday morning that large numbers of people had queued behind closed doors before polling stations opened.

Thousands of additional ballot papers were sent to various Iranian cities after local electoral authorities from different constituencies across the country asked the Interior Ministry to send them more papers due to the unexpectedly large public turnout.
Observers said turnout among the electorate was 75 percent.

Foreign reporters and journalists covering the elections were astounded to see large crowds standing in long queues at polling stations.
The BBC reporter said he has sighted areas with high public turnout and long queues of voters.

"There were very, very long queues on Sajjad Street in the eastern city of Mashhad," a BBC Tehran Bureau correspondent reported.

"Both the women's and men's lines were overflowing. People were very excited and optimistic. They were talking about Ayatollah Khamenei's speech after he voted," he added.

Speaker: Iran Not to Partake in Geneva II Conference If Israel Invited

June 16, 2013

Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani underlined the necessity for the settlement of the Syrian crisis through talks, but cautioned that Tehran would not take part in the Geneva II conference on Syria in Switzerland if Israel is invited to the international gathering.

"If Israel takes part in the Geneva II conference, Iran will never participate in it," Larijani said in an interview with al-Mayadeen news channel on Saturday.

He stressed that Iran believes in the necessity of the political settlement of the Syrian problem, and said violence and crisis in the Muslim country merely serves the interests of the Zionist regime, the US and other western states.

"Iran only believes in the settlement of the Syrian crisis through the ballot box," Larijani underscored, and stressed, "The Syrian government enjoys more legitimacy than some other regimes (in the region)."

Earlier this month, a prominent Syrian legislator underlined that Iran should take part in the upcoming Geneva II Conference.

"Iran, as a key player in the regional political scenes and a major state both at regional and international levels, should attend the Geneva II Conference to be held in Switzerland in July," member of the Syrian Parliament Walid Al-Zaabi said.

Al-Zaabi described Iran as true friend of the Syrian people and government.

Late in May, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined that Iran should take part in the upcoming Geneva II Conference.

"This issue is not related to the Syrians alone, as there are a number of foreign players involved at that crisis as well, and therefore, Iran's presence at that conference is of key importance for us," Lavrov said.

"In my talks with the US and French foreign ministers John Kerry and Lauran Fabio aimed at solving the ambiguities about the combination of participating countries at Geneva II International Conference on Syria I gained their approval on need for revising their former decision," he added.

Also in May, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi announced that Tehran is likely to take part in the Geneva II Conference on Syria if the co-hosts, the US and Russia, invite it to the international gathering.

"If the Geneva II Conference is held and if Iran is invited, we will study our presence with a positive view," Araqchi said at the time.

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