TODAY   |  June 17, 2013

A ‘softening’ in Iran? World watches new leader

NBC’s Ali Arouzi reports from Tehran, where Iranians overwhelmingly chose to elect moderate cleric Hassan Rowani, saying “it will be interesting to see what course he tries to take.”

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

>>> to get attention the results of iran 's election. a moderate cleric is replacing mahmoud ahmadinejad . he won overwhelmingly, what do we know about him?

>> he's been backed heavily by the reformist but he's not a reformist. on the inner circle of the conservative rulers of iran . he has a good relationship with the supreme leader and the reformists that came out heavily backing him. if it wasn't for the country's leading reformist he wouldn't have become president.

>> when you think of the list of things the united states and iran disagree on. the nuclear program is one of the things that jumps out. how might this new president impact the direction of that program, if at all.

>> well, he was chief nuclear negotiator during the late 90s, early 2000 and that's when they saw a suspension of uranium enrichment . he came under heavy criticism for that. it will be interesting to see what course he takes the nuclear program in. since he left power and ahmadinejad came into power they took a much harder line on the nuclear program . we'll have to see if he tries to reverse that at all or if indeed he can.

>> most of the power in iran lies there so is he just a figure head or will he have real power ?

>> we'll have to see if he can make tangible changes or this is just a softening turn. the supreme leader is the most powerful man in the land, the constitution says the president is the second most powerful man. we'll see easier negotiating part but the ultimate decision lie with the supreme leader and we don't know what he's thinking right now, matt.

>>> ali, thank you very much.