TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's interior minister says moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani has won the presidential vote, handing a victory to the cleric who gained support of many reform-minded Iranians looking to claw back a bit of ground after years of crackdowns.
Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said at a press conference Saturday in Tehran that Rowhani obtained more than 50 percent of more than 36 million votes cast in Friday's election. Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, a conservative candidate who had been running far behind in second place, conceded defeat.
The powerful showing by the former nuclear negotiator, which allowed him to avoid a runoff, demonstrated the strength of opposition sentiment even in a system that is gamed against it. Ruling clerics barred more prominent reform candidates.