Iranians are making last efforts in campaigning for their desired leader, just one day before the country will hold its twelfth presidential election since the Islamic revolution of 1979. The Presidential election this year turned into an unexpectedly tight race between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who is considered to be a protégé of the country’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Even though President Rouhani, who managed to reach a historic agreement with world powers on limiting Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s crippled economy, domestic challenges may prove to challenge Rouhani’s re-election, as a rise in unemployment rates among Iran’s younger population, stimulates many of them to seek a political change.
“(I hope) a candidate wins who can relatively stabilize the domestic and foreign issues and not to deteriorate it. Mr. Rouhani managed to do this really well within his term (as a president),” said Majid Talaei, Tehran resident. “Their (Rouhani’s administration) policy should be in a way … It has been good so far. They (Rouhani’s administration) haven’t allowed American, or outsiders to penetrate into (politics of) this country and do whatever they want. In this regard, it has been good but now we have problems such as the unemployment of the youth and our economic problems,” said Name unknown, Tehran resident.
“There is a possibility that there will be a run-off election. Some who voted for the previous administration (Rouhani’s administration) may not vote for them anymore. They cast their ballots in favor of Mr. Raisi. I assume there will be a run-off.
Journalist: “And (who wins) eventually?”
“I assume Mr. Rouhani will be elected again,” Arash Kohi, University Student.
President Hassan Rouhani won the presidency four years ago with more than three times as many votes as his nearest rival, on promises to reduce Iran’s international isolation and grant more domestic freedoms. This year, however, Rouhani’s challenger – Ebrahim Raisi, is a hardline cleric, who says Iran does not need foreign help and promises an Islamic revival of the values implemented during the Islamic Revolution of 1979.