The victory of Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s Jun. 14 election marked a significant shift in Iranian politics, occasioned by the forceful return of the two most important political factions of the Islamic Republic – traditional conservatives and reformists.
The last-minute entry of former president and current chair of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani into the presidential polls set for Jun. 14 has inspired vastly different reactions in a conflicted Iran.
As the five-day registration period for presidential candidates began here Tuesday, the question of whether Iran’s upcoming election will represent the will of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or the people of Iran is uppermost on many people’s minds, including those of the potential candidates.
With just over two months before the Jun. 14 presidential election, Iranians remain unclear about which candidates will be approved by the Guardian Council to compete, let alone who has the best chance of winning.
Last week’s dramatic and very public display of deep fissures among the leading politicians of Iran has left many here wondering if the conflict will escalate into an all-out war among various political factions in the run-up to the presidential election in June.
With the June 2013 presidential election drawing closer, Iran’s reformists are debating what they should do in the face of the severe restrictions to which their leaders and political parties have been subject since the popular protests that roiled the country after the last election four years ago.
Amid growing and increasingly harsh criticism of his handling of the economy, talk of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s removal has regained momentum in Iran in recent weeks.
Last week’s decision by the U.S. State Department to remove the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from its terrorism list has, as anticipated, led to charges by the Iranian government that the administration of President Barack Obama is hypocritical and using double standards.
More than three years after the contested 2009 presidential election, many Iranians continue to mistrust their government. But rather than stand on the sidelines, they are still trying to better the conditions in the country.
After weeks of wrangling between the Iranian parliament and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the appointment of a highly controversial former judge to direct the country's Social Security Organisation, the parliament has once again failed to impose its will on the president.
Last week's unexpected reappointment of Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as the chair of Expediency Council has provoked considerable speculation here about Iran's future political trajectory as it faces unprecedented economic pressure and military threats from Israel and the United States.
While the general public here is anxious about the increasingly harsh sanctions imposed by Western powers on Iran's financial and oil sectors, the leaders of the Islamic Republic appear more consumed by the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held Mar. 2.
The news of Iran's participation in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington and subsequent harsh rhetoric by senior officials in both Washington and Riyadh have generated deep and complex nationalist feelings on the part of the public here.
Tehran's relatively tranquil week ended with large protests commemorating the tenth anniversary of attacks on the dormitories of Tehran University in 1999, making Thursday yet another significant day in the short post-election history of protests since Jun. 12.
After several tumultuous days, the streets of Tehran are relatively quiet. But the density of police and basij presence has given the city an air of suffocation. It is hard to breathe.