A New Iranian President

Iraq’s neighbour Iran has elected a “moderate conservative”, Hassan Rohani, to be its new President, a contrast to his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was more openly belligerent.

The extent to which this is a real change is debated, with many sources, not least in Israel, taking a more sceptical view of developments.

Iran is, of course, very influential in Iraq, and business links between the two countries have been growing rapidly since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Joint oilfields are being developed along the border, for example, while Iraq is assembling Iranian cars and importing greater quantities of Iranian diesel.

Just last month Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said that the Iran is ready to “expand all-out strategic cooperation” with Iraq, and there is no reason to expect the election of Rohani to change this.

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