Press reports have confirmed that Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who negotiated the joint nuclear deal and who has sought more positive relationships with western powers, won re-election over the hard-right conservative challenger, cleric Ebrahim Raisi. Rouhani reportedly received 57 percent of the vote to Raisi’s 38.5 percent, with the remaining votes split among other minor candidates. While this result is being viewed by many as a positive outcome for Iran’s ongoing efforts to engage with the rest of the world, it remains to be seen if Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say over all state issues and limits the president’s power, will limit any further efforts by Rouhani in this area. In response to the election results, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated:

“What we hope – what I would hope – is that Rouhani now has a new term, and that he use that term to begin a process of dismantling Iran’s network of terrorism, dismantling its financing of the terrorist network, dismantling of the manning and the logistics and everything that they provide to these destabilizing forces that exist in this region. That’s what we hope he does. We also hope that he puts an end to [Iran’s] ballistic missile testing. We also hope that he restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so that Iranians can live the life that they deserve. That’s what we hope this election will bring. I’m not going to comment on my expectation. But we hope that if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world, those are the things he could do.”