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Hassan Rohani, the incumbent reformist president, won a landslide 57% of the vote in Iran’s 19 May presidential elections. His hardline rival, cleric Ebrahim Raisi, won 38%.
Iranians thus voted in favor of diplomacy over confrontation and international engagement over isolation: Tehran will continue to abide by the July 2015 nuclear deal signed with the P5+1 group of world powers ( MEES, 17 July 2015 ). This has eased the main economic sanctions and enabled Iran to tap much-needed international investment for its oil and gas sector, albeit with only limited success to date.
But this significant victory for the reformists was overshadowed by summits held at the weekend in the Saudi capital Riyadh. US President Donald Trump and leaders from the GCC and Arab world met to cement relations between the US and Saudi Arabia in particular, and between the US and the Islamic (mainly Sunni) world in general, in what looked like an attempt to set up a loose coalition against Shia Iran. (CONTINUED - 1149 WORDS)