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A Brief Guide to Iranian Elections
MOSCOW, JUNE 13, 2013. PIR PRESS – “Even a brief review of the biographies of Iran presidential candidates gives an idea that each of them at some point in his career served as a negotiator on a wide range of issues. It must be assumed that the experience of negotiating is regarded as an important criterion for the selection of candidates because of the fact that negotiations on the key for Iran issue – nuclear issue – mildly speaking, came to a deadlock,” - PIR Center experts Julia Sveshnikova and Amir Roknifard.
The eleventh Iran's presidential elections will take place on June 14, 2013. Six candidates are engaged in a power struggle for the post that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held since 2005. Those are: Secretary General of the Iranian National Security Council Saeed Jalili Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani, former head of Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council Mohsen Rezaee, former Minister of Petroleum Mohammad Gharazi, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati.
Despite the fact that the highest authority in the country holds the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran's President plays an important role in the practical decision-making, including on the issue of nuclear program of Iran. The list of candidates eligible for elections by the Council of Guardians, shows whom the country's leadership wants to see on the post.
“Even a brief review of the biographies of Iran presidential candidates gives an idea that each of them at some point in his career served as a negotiator on a wide range of issues. It must be assumed that the experience of negotiating is regarded as an important criterion for the selection of candidates because of the fact that negotiations on the key for Iran issue – nuclear issue, mildly speaking, came to a deadlock,” write PIR center experts Julia Sveshnikova and Amir Roknifard in their blog entry called “If I was the Supreme leader of Iran...” (in Russian).
The outcome of the elections seemed to be predefined after Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei’s disqualification but it again purchased intrigue after Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel and Mohammad Reza Aref have withdrawn in favor of a single candidate from the reformists party – Hassan Rouhani.
Before this reshuffle PIR Center experts commented on Rouhani nomination, "former nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rouhani has little chance to win. But in case of winning we could conclude that the authorities want to bring back people's trust, as Rouhani is in the gold middle - neither reformist nor fundamentalist.”
The voters’ preferences and their activity is a factor that can not be underestimated in the fight for the presidency. This is the question that became a topic for another blog entry of Julia Sveshnikova and Amir Roknifard called "Dilemma of Iranian electorate: to vote or not to vote?” (in Russian)
PIR Center is closely monitoring the situation around the nuclear program as part of its project Iran’s Nuclear Program: Russia’s Interests. On May 29, 2013 a blog entry by PIR Center President called “Elections in Iran, the election of the United States,” (in Russian) was posted which examines the U.S. approach to the Iranian issue.
For more information on the PIR Center project Iran’s Nuclear Program: Russia’s Interests, please contact PIR Center Executive Director Albert Zulkharneev by phone +7 (495) 987-19-15 or email zulkharneev at pircenter.org