The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, celebrating his boss’ victory, twitted: “We derive stability not from ‘coalitions’ but from our people, who, unlike many, do vote.”
Zarif was implicitly referring to Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries who have formed a ‘coalition’ to counterbalance Iran’s power and influence in the region.
At every opportunity, Iran tries to claim that it has a democratic system since it elects a president, while the Gulf oil producing countries have unelected rulers. However, Iran’s political system is far from being democratic, with a lack of basic freedoms or civil rights and carefully managed elections, with limited choice.
Nevertheless, Zarif pointed out that Tehran is ready for negotiation: “Iranians must be respected and [we] are ready to engage.”
He emphasized the role of voters and its impact on the outcome of the election: “People’s massive presence in the elections was glorious. We are indebted to all Iranian people who once again guaranteed the sovereignty, and dignity of Iran an Iranians by their glorious and vigilant presence in the elections at home and abroad.”
Iranians voted in 102 countries to elect the new president, it was officially announced.
Federica Mogherini, who is in charge of EU’s Foreign and Security issues, wrote: “Iranians passionately took part in the political life of their country. I congratulate Mr. Rouhani for the strong mandate he received.”
Mogherini who was one of the main negotiators with Iran during talks on nuclear deal with Tehran, also said: “Eu 28-member bloc is ready to cooperate with Tehran to help fully implement the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, also known as JCPOA.
Chinese leader, Xi jinping, in a message quoted by Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, congratulated Iranian nation and Hassan Rouhani on his landslide victory.
Russian president Vladimir Putin also officially congratulated Hassan Rouhani, adding, ‘Russia is ready to develop bilateral ties and increase international cooperation with Iran.”
Iran and Russia are military allies in Syria, where both have deployed substantial forces to prop up president Bashar al-Assad’s regime. This is highly controversial in the region and for the West.
Bashar al-Assad was also among the first to congratulate Hassan Rouhani, IRNA reported:
“The trust by the Iranian nation will bolster Iran’s role at regional and global developments.”
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in his message highlighted “people’s trust in President Rouhani…the choice is an indication of Iranian people’s trust in president Rouhani and a sign of appreciation for attempts to boost the nation’s prosperity.
In his message to Hassan Rouhani, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, wished expansion of bilateral ties between his country and Iran.