Understanding Hassan Rouhani's Election as Iran's President

Dr. Hassan Feridon Rouhani's victory in the June 14, 2013 Iranian presidential election took many by surprise -- not least of all the Iranian regime's leadership, including the faqih, Supreme Leader Sayeed Ali Khamenei.  The question that challenges political analysts is why this occurred, and why Khamenei acquiesced to the will of the people. Two possible interpretations may be offered.  First -- although it seems unlikely -- is the possibility that Khamenei actually wanted this outcome, as it provides him with several advantages.  Those benefits include the fact that as a fellow cleric, Rouhani is more likely to adhere to the will of the faqih, if only because of the hierarchical nature of the Shiite clergy.  Coupled with this is Rouhani's personal character, which seems less combative than the other leading candidates'.  After having to wrestle with Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Ahmadinejad, Khamenei may be happy to have a more pliable personality with which...(Read Full Post)