TEHRAN – The reaction in Tehran to Obama’s re-election is a subdued one compared to when he won four years ago. Jubilation followed the 2008 vote, as many Iranians believed an Obama first term would bring renewed relations between Iran and the United States.
While much of that enthusiasm has diminished, there is a sense of relief, as concerns of a military attack by U.S. and Israeli forces over Iran’s nuclear energy program if Mitt Romney were elected, had become widespread. Commenting on one of Iran's most popular political Web sites, Asriran, one reader wrote, "At least we know we won't be going to war during the next four years."
Many here were initially disappointed in Obama for what they perceived as a lack of support for protestors following the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election.
Harsh sanctions spearheaded by the United States, which have decimated the spending power and lowered the standard of living of most Iranians, have also hurt the U.S. president’s popularity in Iran.
While there continues to be no official response from Iran’s leadership about U.S. election results, Iranian media is still heavily focused on covering American polls.
Fars News, a semi-official news agency closely aligned with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps ran the initial headline, “The Republican Elephant has been checkmated by the Democratic Donkey.” Iran’s state-run English language television channel, Press TV, carried a live and uninterrupted broadcast of President Obama’s acceptance speech.