The president's re-election presents an opportunity to reduce the diplomacy deficit, particularly with the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The remarks by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards
Once again the Iranian people used the limited available democratic process, combined with unconventional tools and creative methods, to take another step towards political change. A slow process that started with the election of President Khatami and the birth of the reform movement in the 1990s continued through the 2009 election and post-election resistance, re-emerged in the 2013 election of moderate President Rouhani and again showed up in the two important elections last week. Iranians have been on a slow path to democracy and continue to progress -- with patience and with hope.
Iran can still surprise. Voter turnout has surpassed 60 percent. Victory by candidates aligned with President Rouhani already exceeds expectations. This begs the question: What just happened? Perhaps above all else, these elections reflect Iranian society's continued desire to bring about change through gradual evolution rather than radical upheaval.
This week, President Hassan Rouhani will visit Europe, including France, his first trip since the implementation of Iran's nuclear deal. The two governments will focus on boosting economic ties, and Rouhani will seek to end years of Iran's isolation.
"It's a decision that offends Western culture, as well as the supremacy of art as a vehicle for culture and liberty."
Despite the recent achievements on Iran-U.S. relations, which have been unprecedented since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the wall of mistrust between Washington and Tehran remains thick. It is of critical importance for the pragmatists on each side to ensure they stick to fully implementing the nuclear deal.
To address all of its self-created problems, the House of Saud has pursued one solution: blaming Iran. But the reality is that Saudi Arabia has overstretched itself in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, supporting terrorist groups and totally breaking down its ties with Iran. If it continues with its traditional policies, sooner or later it will collapse.
Rouhani said hard-liners "misuse" remarks by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the possible spread of U.S. influence in Iran as an excuse for the detentions.
As the Iranian government prepares to lay bare its most sensitive operations to dozens of the U.N. inspectors, it should also welcome the one individual charged with monitoring human rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.
This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in