It is fair to say the presidency of Hassan Rohani came as a surprise to everyone. This includes 50.7% of Iranian voters, who according to government accounts, voted for him in the June 15th presidential election in Iran. Some of the attention was on the undemocratic nature of the Iranian presidential elections due to the vetting process by the Guardians Council in the last round of the candidate selection process. However, few are aware that the vetting process begins with the Islamic Republic’s constitution itself; which bars women, non-Muslims, Sunnis, and allows the Guardians Council to consider only members of the dominant Shia Islam in Iran as potential candidates, thereby disqualifying approximately two thirds of the Iranian population.
Now that the election dust has settled and the attention in the west is back on the nuclear track, VOMENA takes an in-depth look at what happened, and what it was about Mr. Rohani that appealed to nearly 18 million voters who reportedly helped him win the election.
Shahram Agharmir speaks with Ali Rezaei, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Calgary. Veteran journalist and researcher, Nasser Mohajer also addresses the future of political and cultural reforms in Iran.