Deadline for Iranian presidential candidates to campaign

The deadline for approved candidates to campaign for the Iranian presidential elections on June 18 is today. The upcoming elections

Iranian presidential campaign

Photo: WANA/Reuters

The deadline for approved candidates to campaign for the Iranian presidential elections on June 18 is today.

The upcoming elections have been criticized in some corners on the grounds that they will be unfair. The Guardian Council, under the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, disqualified the candidacy of hundreds of reformist applicants. Analysts are now debating the likelihood that the Guardian Council manipulates the elections to tilt the odds in favor of Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric renowned for his closeness to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In the short-term, the new president will increase indirect talks with US diplomats for the further relaxation of sanctions imposed on the Iranian energy sector. Although Tehran will initially hesitate to fully comply with Washington’s demands, the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal appears highly likely as Iran desires to alleviate its dire economic standing. Tehran’s move will be in correspondence with its aim to mitigate public dissent and prevent further popular unrest in the medium-term, similar to the Bloody November protests. Returning back to the deal will not only boost Tehran’s oil exportation in the long-term, but also enable Tehran to pursue its foreign policy objectives with reduced Western opposition.

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