Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The next step in Iran

The contest for presidency of Iran is ready for the next step.

Hassan Rouhani faces tough re-election race as candidate list closes
Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s moderate president who is seeking re-election, faces a boisterous race after heavyweight conservative figures critical of his landmark nuclear agreement with the west put themselves up to challenge him.

Registration for candidates in Iran’s presidential elections next month ended on Saturday, with a record number of 1,636 people putting their names on the list, including 137 women. On Friday, Rouhani… register[ed] to run for a second term…

The list of presidential hopefuls has been sent to the guardian council, a powerful body of jurists and clerics, which began a five-day vetting process on Sunday. A limited number of candidates are usually allowed through…

This year, all eyes are on the council to see if it will approve Ahmadinejad…

“Rouhani is not in as strong a position as we think he is, because he delivered the JCPOA [nuclear deal]. JCPOA in Iran is not seen as a giant triumph, and for me the problem is the way Rouhani sold it,” Ali Ansari, a professor of Iranian history at the University of St Andrews said.

“He has stablised the economy, but I think he made a number of very exaggerated claims, and he is now paying the price in the popular mood. But in an open election I think people would vote for Rouhani . Rouhani is the best of a bad choice, but at the same time I don’t think he’s as clear a winner as some people in the west would like to think.”

Although women have registered, all female nominees have previously been blocked from running. Azam Talaghani, a former MP and the daughter of a prominent revolutionary ayatollah, is among the women who have put their names on the list to test whether the authorities would allow women to run.

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