News / Middle East

    Little Real Choice for Iranians in Presidential Poll

    Little Real Choice for Iranians in Presidential Polli
    X
    June 12, 2013 2:40 PM
    Iranians go to the polls Friday for the first round of a presidential election that analysts say pits hardliners against only slightly less hardline candidates. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the experts believe that as a result, the outcome will make at most a difference in the tone of Iran’s policies, but not the substance.
    Little Real Choice for Iranians in Presidential Poll
    Al Pessin
    Iranians go to the polls Friday for the first round of a presidential election that analysts say pits hardliners against only slightly less hardline candidates. The experts believe that as a result, the outcome will make at most a difference in the tone of Iran’s policies, but not the substance.

    Iran’s presidential candidates have appeared in several debates. Controls on who can run have severely limited the scope of opinions on key issues, however, such as Iran’s nuclear program and its negotiations with the West.  

    Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili advocates continuing the ‘no compromise’ policy. Hassan Rowhani, a former negotiator, might try to take a slightly softer approach.

    Iran's Presidential Election

    -6 candidates remain in contention
    -All were cleared by the Guardian Council
    -Candidates must be Iranian citizens and of Iranian origin
    -All Iranian citizens aged 18 and over can vote
    -More than 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote
    -There are 60,000 polling stations across Iran, 285 abroad
    -If no candidate wins at least 50 percent plus one, a runoff between the top two finishers is held
    But neither candidate would really make much difference on the nuclear issue, said Mark Fitzpatrick at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    “I think it really depends on what the views of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are. If he wants to make a breakthrough, then it almost doesn’t matter who the president is. But I don’t really expect much in the way of a breakthrough,” said Fitzpatrick.

    Ayatollah Khamenei said he does not endorse any candidate. Those he might have opposed were barred from running, though, including all reformists and all women. That means Iranians won’t have a real choice in this election, according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Iran Human Rights, Ahmed Shaheed.  

    “The basic conditions for free and fair elections are not existent in Iran, and that is a serious concern. Under international law you cannot disqualify a candidate for elections unless you used criteria that were reasonable, objective and transparent,” said Shaheed.

    Among those disqualified was the relatively liberal former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

    Experts say a key concern of ordinary Iranians is the economy, which has been devastated by international sanctions designed to get flexibility in the nuclear negotiations. But economist and oil market analyst Leo Drollas said some key segments of Iranian society may not be overly concerned.

    “There are certain segments, of course, of the Iranian society, mainly associated with the Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guards, and certain favored merchants, bazaaris, etcetera, who have done very well out of this situation. But the great majority of people are suffering, indeed, and nothing is likely to change,” said Drollas.

    There had been hope that Iran’s election would lead to an easing of tensions and sanctions. Some analysts say the sanctions have hardened Iran's position, however, and they warn that continuing deadlock on the nuclear issue, as Iran builds its capabilities, could lead to a military confrontation.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora