Iran’s hardliners have reacted angrily after both the Guardian Council and the judiciary avoided a confrontation with President Hassan Rouhani over his re-election on May 19.
On Wednesday, the judiciary confirmed the Guardian Council’s announcement the previous day that there was no widespread vote fraud affecting the outcome, in which Rouhani defeated hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi by 57% to 38.5%.
Many observers had expected a challenge to Rouhani after last Friday’s Tehran Prayer had proclaimed “violations” adding millions of votes to Rouhani’s victory margin and Raisi’s declaration on Sunday night of manipulation with the failure to supply ballot papers to some polling stations.
However, spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei delivered a brief, direct statement that the judiciary endorsed the findings of the Guardian Council.
The conservative-hardline bloc Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces, created for the election, reacted angrily. In a statement featured by Revolutionary Guards outlet Fars, the Front maintained:
The slogans of protecting the vote of the people and protecting the rights of citizenship — for those in conflict with the preservation of the President and the continuity of power — are exaggerations and can easily overwhelm people’s legitimate rights and public confidence in the notion….
We have witnessed some dramatic and unprecedented violations of our election process. The bitter reality needs to be addressed.
Rouhani celebrated on Wednesday with a Ramadan speech in which he asserted:
The election was another divine test for our society with many political, social and international aspects, and our nation became proud in the test.
The true winners of the important election are the great Iranian nation and the Supreme Leader.
Heralding the “hard work” of the Government, Rouhani took on his critics, “Enduring false accusations is very difficult but Ramadan month wants to teach us that if we stand against hardships, God will reward us.”
The President cited the achievements of “8% economic growth”, the reduction of inflation to a single-digit rate, and the expansion of Iran’s trade, and claimed that Iran would be self-sufficiency in wheat and gasoline production.
TOP PHOTO: President Rouhani addresses Government officials in Tehran, May 31, 2017