Image: Hassan Rouhani Supporters Celebrates His Surprising Victory - Tehran
Khademian Farzaneh / Abaca

Alex Witt   |  June 16, 2013

Iranians pack streets, celebrate new president

People take to the streets of Tehran after Hassan Rohani was elected the next president of Iran. NBC's Ali Arouzi reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> turning to iran now, where the streets of tehran were packed with thousands of people just a few hours ago celebrating the election of a new president. hassan rouhani, a moderate cleric, took home more than 50% of the total votes, security a landslide victory . let's go right to nbc news tehran news chief aaliyah ruzi.

>> hassan rouhani, the great clerical hope for reformist voters swept to victory last night with over 50% of the vote. as soon as the results were made officials, jubilant iranians took to the streets celebrating, dancing, lighting chinese lanterns in a euphoric mood. people aren't streets were chanting "bye-bye ahmadi, bye-bye ahmadi," in a reference to ahmadinejad no longer being president. in an ironic twist those same people were making those same chants four years ago before the results came in in the elections, which ensued in a bloody crackdown. not so last night. everything went by very peacefully. how much difference four years in iranian politics can make. but last night's vote also showed a split in opinion amongst iranian voters. about 35 million people voted in iran yesterday, with hassan rouhani getting just over 18 million votes while the five conservative candidates' combined vote was just under 18 million, showing an almost 50-50 split between support for conservatives and reformists, showing a divide in opinion in the country. now, that doesn't mean that some sort of arab spring is on the horizon. far from it. but it shows how iranians want the country managed in a different way and how they want the country perceived overseas. hassan rouhani is a pragmatic man. during his time as chief nuclear negotiator he got on very well with western powers , western diplomats. and during his time as nuclear negotiator iran suspended uranium enrichment . something they started up again when president ahmadinejad became president. now iranians will wait to see if mr. rouhani can deliver tangible policy changes or if this is just going to be a softening in tone rather than