Iran's Jun. 14 presidential election results, announced the day after voting was held, were nothing less than a political earthquake.
For Washington, obsessed with matters Iranian, it may be hard to accept a simple fact: Iran’s Jun. 14 presidential election is an Iranian event. If we attempt to make it about us, we will find ourselves on the same road that has previously led to multiple failures: Iran-contra; “goodwill begets goodwill”; and a non-existent two-track policy.
With the disqualification of former president and current chair of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani by a vetting body, the Guardian Council, Iran's presidential campaign is opening with many in the country in a state of shock.
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.
Since Barack Obama became president of the United States, messages marking the Iranian New Year – Norouz - celebrated at the onset of spring have become yearly affairs. So have responses given by Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from the city of Mashhad where he makes a yearly pilgrimage to visit the shrine of Shi’i Islam’s eighth imam, Imam Reza.
The meeting between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) that took place in late February in Almaty, Kazakhstan was described as positive and even a "turning point" by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.
Iran appears to be putting its immediate economic and strategic needs ahead of religious solidarity as it seeks to promote ties with neighbouring Pakistan.
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.
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.