BERLIN – No one could have reckoned with Hassan Rowhani’s victory in Iran’s presidential election. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was probably more than a little surprised by Rowhani’s first-round victory, following a campaign that began with eight candidates. As a result, the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, as well as the civil war in Syria, may well take on a new dynamic. But that is how it is in the Middle East: you never know what lies around the corner.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the launch, at the foreign-minister level, of negotiations between Iran and the European triumvirate of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom on Iran’s nuclear program. I was there, representing Germany; so was Rowhani, who led the Iranian delegation.