Hassan Rouhani presidential winner in landslide election victory in Iran

Enlightened democratic forces appear to be making a comeback, after suffering sharp reversals with the Brexit referendum in the U.K. and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. Far-right forces were pushed back in elections in the Netherlands earlier this year, and in France centrist and oro-European Emannuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right Front National on May 7.

In the United States, the acting attorney general appointed Robert Mueller, a former head of the FBI, as special prosecutor tasked with investigating any Trump campaign collusion with the Russians. This move reassured Democrats and others that the country would get to the bottom of the affair invving Trump and Russia.

Further good news for advocates of democracy came following the May 19 presidential election in Iran. As returns came in, by Saturday moorning it eared that moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, was haded for a landslide victory with nearly 60% of the votes counted.


(1) Emma Graham-Harrison (in Tehran) and Saeed Kamali Dehghan (Iran correspondent), “Iran: Hassan Rouhani set for landslide in huge victory for reformists; Just before 9am, the interior ministry said Rouhani was ahead, with 14 million votes to Ebrahim Raisi’s 10 million, with over half of votes counted,” The Guardian, May 20, 2017.

While Iran does not have a full democracy in the French or American sense, Rouhani’s election is a welcome development

Democracy seems to be making a comeback.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.