Iran’s interior minister announced Saturday that moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani had won outright election as the nation’s next president.Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told a news conference in Tehran that Rowhani obtained more than 50% of more than 36 million votes cast in Friday’s election. Even Rowhani’s inner circle did not predict an outright victory, though his campaign had been polling well in recent days and advisers noted a sense of momentum. Enthusiasm was especially strong among the young, women and middle-class urban voters disillusioned with the nation’s conservative leadership and the stalled economy. Rowhani also did well in voting from the seminary city of Qom, the nation’s religious hub, results showed.Though long regarded as a conservative-leaning cleric, Rowhani emerged in the last week of the campaign as a charismatic champion of reformist ideals, including enhanced personal freedoms, gender equality and artistic liberty. He also backed using foreign policy as a means to improve the nation’s free-falling economy, battered by Western-led sanctions tied to the nation’s controversial nuclear program.Improving the moribund economy was the major theme of all six candidates. (Courtesy L.A Times) Rowhani was the lone moderate candidate supported by reformists in a race that once appeared solidly in the hands of Tehran’s ruling clerics. He faced five other candidates viewed as more conservative. Many observers had assumed that one of his conservative rivals would likely emerge victorious, or at least make it into a runoff election. But instead the conservative vote was split, analysts said, opening the way for Rowhani to pull away from the pack.Only a week ago, Rowhani had been considered a long shot to make it into a runoff election. But he received the endorsement of a pair of former presidents, and a potential rival for reformist votes dropped out of the race, consolidating his prospective support. The victory of Rowhani, 64, a bespectacled, bearded jurist who has long been a member of the inner power circle of the Islamic Republic, was a huge surprise, reflecting several factors, including a tactically adept campaign and a fractured alliance among his hard-line opponents.
The court heard Zada is a core participant in the Grenfell inquiry, and that meetings have frequently been interrupted by angry protesters.Judge Tan Ikram refused the application, saying: “Much may be said during the inquiry and at meetings but that’s not enough for this court to resile from the principle of open justice.” A survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire is facing jail after investigators found the remains of his cannabis oil factory in the wreck of the building.Eamon Zada, 35, was arrested after officers combing the burnt-out tower three weeks after the deadly blaze found a store of cannabis cuttings, butane gas canisters and an oven in his flat.Zada, who is currently being housed at the Raddison Blu hotel in Portman Square, Marylebone, had produced enough cannabis oil to last one user 140 days, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.On Wednesday, Zada pleaded guilty to one count of being concerned in the supply of cannabis on or before July 4 last year.The Grenfell Tower caught fire on 14 June last year, killing 71 people, including an unborn child, and leaving hundreds of others homeless.Ahead of the hearing, lawyers for Zada asked for him to be granted anonymity for fear the presence of butane canisters could be linked to the blaze and make him the target of violence. Prosecutor Maxine Channer-McDaniel told the court: “On July 4 2017 fire fighters entered Grenfell Tower, a number of items were found at a flat believed to be used in the production of cannabis – lights that related to the growing of cannabis and various other items.”A number of butane gas canisters meant a more thorough search was conducted on July 6 during which a number of items were seized from the property.”She said the cannabis had been stored in the second bedroom, while an oven had been found in the living room and the gas canisters were stored in the kitchen. She continued: “The amount of cannabis is described as cannabis trim – of that there was 14 kilos, as well as 700 grams of oil.””When he was interviewed Mr Zada said he was a regular user of cannabis since the age of 12 and that normal cannabis flower had limited effect.”He said he had not purchased the trim because it was of no commercial value and had used it to extract the oil.Zada told officers that he used five to six grams of oil per day, and thereafter refused to make any comment.Judge Ikram adjourned Zada’s sentence until March 6. Zada lived in the tower prior to the tragic blaze that killed 71 peopleCredit:NATALIE OXFORD/AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.