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Congratulation To Rouhani Missing From Khamenei's Message

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivering his speech in a meeting with teachers on Sunday May 7, 2017.

Iran's Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamanei's customary post-election message thanked the people for the high turnout but did not directly congratulate the winner, incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani.

In a message issued an hour after the interior minister announced the final vote tally, Khamenei claimed that different groups in Iranian society came together and participated in the election, as a "vote for the Islamic Republic" system.

The Supreme Leader did not even mention Mr. Rouhani's name in his message. Speaking about his expectations from the winner he used the term "the honorable president".

Mr. Khameni's expectations in the message sounded very much like the platform of the defeated conservative candidate, Ebrahim Raisi. He stressed a "youth oriented" approach and "hard work" as keys for solving the nation's problems.

Mr. Khamenei also echoed Raisi's emphasize on helping the needy and the rural population in facing their daily challenges.

Fight against corruption was another demand the Supreme Leader mentioned in his message. However, during the election campaign, it was Mr. Rouhani who repeatedly attacked corruption in institutions which are under the Supreme Leader's authority.

Khamenei and Rouhani have had many public disagreements over a host of foreign, economic and cultural policies.

Lingering differences between the two can reduce the chances of Rouhani's success to address serious economic and other challenges.

Mr. Khamenei has the final say in many crucial areas, by law or by his accumulated influence over the state apparatus.