Moderate Rohani Looks On Road To Winning Iran Presidential Vote -- Reuters
(Reuters) - Moderate cleric Hassan Rohani took a solid lead over conservative rivals on Saturday in preliminary vote counting in Iran's presidential election in what could be the makings of a surprise victory over favored hardliners.
The outcome is unlikely to transform relations between Iran and the outside world, the Islamic Republic's disputed policy on developing nuclear power or its support of Syria's president in the civil war there - all sensitive security matters that are the domain of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But the president does wield important influence in decision-making in the sprawling Shi'ite Muslim nation and major OPEC state of 75 million and could bring a change from the confrontational style of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.
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