Iran’s presidential election of June 14th is being hailed as a political opening. The landslide victory of Hassan Rouhani, who had called for moderation in foreign and domestic policies, for a more open state news media, and for engagement with the West regarding Tehran’s nuclear program, is being seen as something unique in the history of Iran’s Islamic Republic. Biographical details about the new president abound, as evidence of his distinctness. But the relevance or significance of these facts, and that of his office of the president altogether, is entirely suspect given the thirty-four-year history of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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