The June 14 Iranian presidential election that resulted in Hassan Rouhani's victory astonished many observers. Many feared that this vote would end in the same chaos as the 2009 election, ensuring a pre-determined candidate's victory. But this time around, there was no election fraud. And after the ballots were counted, a moderate conservative -- who had suddenly embraced a progressive agenda, drawing the support of millions disenchanted with the government's economic, social, cultural, and foreign policies -- emerged as the winner.
How can we make sense of Rouhani's victory, the election itself, and the current alignment of the country's political forces, while also understanding the position of the country's powerful Supreme Leader?