DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s electoral victory Saturday, what’s next for the Islamic Republic?
Here’s some things to watch for:
Those backing President Ebrahim Raisi will accept the results. However, hard-liners within Iran’s judiciary and security services will continue to pressure Rouhani in different ways. Even before the vote, hard-line elements routinely detained dual nationals, likely seeking concessions from the West. Artists, journalists, models and others have been targeted in crackdowns on expression. Hard-liners probably will challenge Rouhani in the country’s parliament, especially over social issues or any measure that appears to be accepting or promoting Western culture. The paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will continue to launch ballistic missiles and have close encounters with U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf.
The nuclear deal with world powers allowed Iran to start selling its crude oil everywhere and the country quickly re-entered Europe and other key markets. However, their re-entry comes as global crude prices remain stuck around $50 a barrel, about half the price when major sanctions began to bite.