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Hassan Rohani supporters celebrate his victory

Saturday, Jun 15, 2013 - 00:44

June 15 - Supporters of Hassan Rohani take to the streets of Tehran to celebrate his landslide victory in Iran's presidential election. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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Iranian voters weary of years of economic isolation and tightening political restrictions threw down a blunt demand for change on Saturday (June 15) by handing a moderate cleric a landslide victory in a presidential election. Having waited throughout Friday night (June 14) and most of Saturday, millions of Iranians at home and abroad greeted Hassan Rohani's victory with a mix of euphoria and relief that eight years under hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were finally over. State television showed large crowds marching through the streets of the capital, with similar displays of jubilation reported in other cities, including Mashhad, Zanjan and Qom. That Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator, trounced hardline "Principlist" rivals most loyal to the theocratic system and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Friday's contest left many in the Islamic Republic in shock. A second surprise was that the country's first presidential poll since a disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad in 2009 appeared to be free and fair. His victory goes some way to repairing the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, badly damaged four years ago when the disputed poll led to mass unrest. And it may herald an increase in political space for the sort of reformist groups which bore the brunt of the security crackdown that ended the disturbances. After final results were announced and the nerve-racking wait came to an end, Iranians revelled in having delivered their message to Iran's theocratic leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose loyalists dominated the field of candidates. From the streets of Tehran came reports of a festive atmosphere, as crowds of Rohani supporters dressed in his campaign colour purple gathered to celebrate his emphatic victory. Some chanted "Ahmadi Bye Bye" heralding the imminent end to incumbent Mahmoud Ahamdinejad's presidency.

Hassan Rohani supporters celebrate his victory

Saturday, Jun 15, 2013 - 00:44

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