More tweets from the celebration in Iran, going into the wee hours:
(@jadi) June 15, 2013
White House:We congratulate the Iranian people 4 their participation in the political process & their courage in making their voices heard—
Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) June 15, 2013
Incredible that with all this dancing, singing, chanting, there has not been any reports of confrontations with police.—
Arash Karami (@thekarami) June 15, 2013
[I]f the election, which electrified a nation that had lost faith in its electoral process, was a victory for reformers and the middle class, it also served the goals of the supreme leader, restoring at least a patina of legitimacy to the theocratic state, providing a safety valve for a public distressed by years of economic malaise and isolation, and returning a cleric to the presidency. Mr. Ahmadinejad was the first noncleric to hold the presidency, and often clashed with the religious order and its traditionalist allies.
The question for Western capitals is whether a more conciliatory approach can lead to substantive change in the conflict with Iran over its nuclear program. A willingness to talk does not mean a willingness to concede.
But this was no win for Khamenei either:
The election results put the supreme leader under pressure to allow changes to take place, or allow him to make the kind of changes that might be opposed by hard-liners if they controlled all the levers of power. For the supreme leader, a weak loyal president might be less threatening that Mr. Ahmadinejad, who over time alienated the ayatollah as he spread his own power throughout the bureaucracy. The ayatollah had exhorted Iranians to exercise their right to vote. Analysts are predicting at least some change. “There will be moderation in domestic and foreign policy under Mr. Rowhani,” said Saeed Laylaz, an economist and columnist close to the reformist current of thinking. “First we need to form a centrist and moderate government, reconcile domestic disputes, then he can make changes in our foreign policy,” said Mr. Laylaz, who, in a sign of confidence, agreed to be quoted by name.
Omid Memarian thinks the president-elect now has some debts to pay:
Rowhani could have never found much reception within the different layers of the society if two reformist and popular figures, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, former Iranian presidents, had not supported him.