The victory of Mr. Hassan Rouhani in Iran's presidential election held June 14 has surprised many people in and out of Iran. A moderate, Mr. Rouhani's win will be seen as a repudiation of the hardline views of the current president, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But while there is no doubt that the majority of Iranians have good reason to be unhappy with the current administration in Tehran, it is folly to think that the new president can radically change his country's course.

Mr. Rouhani is a moderate relative to the other candidates, but he is no radical reformer. His win does not reflect a swing in the electorate so much as the inability of Iran's conservatives to rally behind a single candidate.