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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently marked the end of his first year in office not only with smiles, but also with further evidence of his efforts at domestic reform and geostrategic reorientation.It is here that Rouhani has invested much of his energy and political capital.Coming into office, Rouhani had a clear priority: to fix an economy devastated by eight years of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demagogic mismanagement. On the environmental front, Rouhani is also busy undoing his predecessor's damage.Rouhani has made it clear that he wants to pay for the new health care by phasing out the monthly state stipends paid to more than 74 million registered citizens, which Ahmadinejad offered when he eliminated a wide range of subsidies.Unlike Ahmadinejad's reformist predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, who acted more like the leader of the loyal opposition than head of the executive, Rouhani has worked closely with Khamenei.Rouhani needs more than Khamenei's backing.Rouhani seems to have halted the expansion of the IRGC's economic empire.
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