Emboldened by Rouhani’s Win, Iranians Seek Further Reforms


The woman, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, said she had long lived with simmering anger over the state’s handling of the protests. This night, she said, all emotions came to the surface.

Iran’s Interior Ministry released a statement on Sunday emphasizing that all street gatherings were banned, and called on those who wanted to hold victory celebrations to obtain permits for gatherings in closed-off venues.

The director of Mr. Rouhani’s campaign, Morteza Haji, also called on people to stay off the streets. “If there are plans for gatherings, after going through the necessary steps, we will announce the details,” he told the Iranian Student News Agency.

It was clear that many felt validated by the re-election of the reformist Mr. Rouhani. On Sunday, posts on social media showed students at Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology shouting for the release of the opposition leaders.

For those who voted for change, there was more to celebrate. Iranian reformists and moderates swept the Tehran City Council elections, winning all 21 seats and removing all hard-liners, the Iranian news media reported on Sunday. This will probably mean that the mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who had challenged Mr. Rouhani in the presidential elections, will be removed in the coming months, analysts said. Reformists are also sweeping council seats in Mashhad, home to Mr. Raisi; in Karaj, a satellite city of Tehran; and in Yazd and Zahedan.

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My Strange Trip Through Iran’s Heartland

As Iran elects a new president, I drove 550 miles from its holiest city to the capital to see how people are divided.



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By now, Iran’s hard-liners are used to not winning the popular vote, but they are able to impose their views using centers of power under their control. Iranian activists are already bracing for a possible wave of arrests, as happened after Mr. Rouhani was elected in 2013.

But the widespread popular support for Mr. Rouhani will no doubt be a boost for the re-elected president and his backers.

“There will be no reason for the judiciary to create obstacles for Mr. Rouhani if he manages to improve the economy,” said Saeed Laylaz, an economist who supports the president. “If he manages to appease the grass roots and poor, there is no way they can stop him from implementing other changes.”

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