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The Boston Globe

Opinion

NICHOLAS BURNS

Rowhani’s Iran

His election is better news than Obama expected, but it’s not a panacea

Hassan Rowhani’s surprise victory in Iran’s presidential election last week carries important implications for the country’s future as well as for its tortured relationship with the United States.

Rowhani overturned nearly all predictions and the carefully laid plans of Iran’s leadership by defeating a group of much more conservative candidates. In a field of gray conformists, Rowhani was the only one who took a more moderate line on social, economic, and international issues. The key to his success was in capturing the latent underground sentiment for change that spilled into the streets after the 2009 elections but has been repressed since by a brutal regime crackdown.

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