AirTalk for June 17, 2013

Iranian election: Moment of change or more of the same?

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian president-elect Hassan Rowhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on June 17, 2013. Rowhani expressed hope that Iran can reach a new agreement with major powers over its disputed nuclear program, saying a deal should be reached through more transparency and mutual trust.

The election of Hassan Rouhani as the new president of Iran, replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has journalists and Iran watchers the world over wondering which direction the new leader will steer his country in. The nation of 70-million plus plays a crucial role in world politics, and Rouhani will be required to grapple with wars on Iran’s borders, the country’s nuclear aspirations, and an economy in near meltdown, with over 40 percent of young people currently unemployed.

Rouhani has been described as “moderate and conservative,” but are those traits that will lead Iran into an era of peace and economic prosperity? Was this a referendum on Ahmadinejad, or were other factors at play? Will a new leader mean a new relationship with the region and the U.S.? Or will Rouhani support the status quo?

Guests:

Patrick McDonnell, the Los Angeles Times; Beirut Bureau Chief, joining us from Beirut

Siamak Kalhor, hosts a technology show on 670 AM Radio Iran in the San Gabriel Valley


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