On Election Day, Iran Chooses Between Gradual Reform And Conservative Return

    What difference does it make who's president of Iran? It's fair to ask the question on this weekend of Iran's presidential election. After all, the president's title makes him sound like the top official, but he is not. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holds far more power. Still, the election of Hasan Rouhani to Iran's presidency in 2013 made a difference. Iranian voters decisively declared that they wanted more openness to the world. And while the people don't have the last word in Iran — Khamenei gets that — Iran's Shiite Muslim clerical establishment had to listen in order to preserve its own legitimacy. Rouhani made a nuclear deal with the West. And now Iranians decide if they want to keep moving in his direction. Technology, communications show signs of change During five days in Iran, we looked for signs of how Rouhani changed the country in his first term. They were subtle. Despite the drama of the nuclear deal abroad, it's commonly said that Rouhani failed toOriginal Article