Last Monday I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel discussion at Westminster, the home of the British parliament, about the Iranian elections that had taken place only few days earlier. It was part of a nascent effort to dissect the unexpected election results. In a very stuffy committee room, packed to capacity with members of parliament, former diplomats and some veteran observers of Iranian affairs, there was an air of optimism mixed with surprise and confusion. When I was invited more than two months ago to take part in this panel discussion it was not yet clear who would even be allowed to run for elections, let alone what the message sent by the Iranian people through the ballot box would be.
The international response to Rowhani’s victory, including the U.S. and the EU, was that of qualified satisfactionYossi Mekelberg