Iranian presidential election to begin

Iran is scheduled to hold presidential elections today. The race is down to the far right judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi—favorite

Leader ir

Photo: Leader.ir

Iran is scheduled to hold presidential elections today.

The race is down to the far right judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi—favorite of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei—and the moderate former Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati. Voter turnout is expected to be low today as the public largely feels there is no real competition against Raisi, and a conservative victory is a foregone conclusion.

Today’s election has been criticized as anti-democratic. Raisi’s potential competitors have already been disqualified from running, a move endorsed by Ayatollah Khamenei. His victory would put Khamenei and his supporters in total control of the Iranian government, allowing them to crack down on growing discontent and reform movements.

Expect Ebrahim Raisi to win today’s elections in a rigged affair. As a result, it is unlikely Iran will pull out of nuclear talks with the US in the short- to medium- term. Instead, Khamenei will likely let outgoing President Rouhani appear weak by submitting to a deal with the US, then allowing Raisi to be praised for subsequently improving the economy without making concessions. In the long-term, Raisi’s rightwing government is thus to agree to future US deals limiting missile tech or Tehran’s support for terrorism abroad.

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