Iran Election Guide

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Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Jalili Vs. Supreme Leader Advisor Velayati

See also Iran Analysis: Presidential Election --- It's About "Management" & The Economy
Sunday's Iran Today: Presidential Election --- Focus On The Economy

With a principlist "consensus" candidate yet to emerge out of the 2+1 Coalition, Presidential candidates Saeed Jalili and Ali Akbar Velayati are competing for legitimacy as Iran's next head of government.

Both candidates, appearing on State television on Sunday night, focused on Iran's ailing economy as the most pressing project for the next administration.

Velayati attempted to present himself as an influential figure whose contacts as former Foreign Minister would allow him to organize payment of frozen currencies back into Iran's state coffers. However, he has attracted criticism for appearing to muddle figures during his televised interview.

The full interview:

In his address to the Iranian people, Jalili emphasized public participation and religion as key themes, as well as the economy.

Presidential Election Watch: Supreme Leader Edition

The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to students at Imam Hossein University --- a military university belonging to the Revolutionary Guards --- said that Iranians should participate in the June 14 Presidential Election and said through this many of the country’s problems will be solved.

Khamenei criticized the U.S., saying that "those Americans who say our election is not free, have not yet closed Guantanamo Bay and are killing many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

He added: "Our people should know that the reason Americans are saying these things is because of the importance of the election, therefore the [Iranian] people should create a political epic."

Presidential Election Watch: More Clerics Write In Support Of Rafsanjani

More clerics have expressed support for former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and criticized the Guardian Council for disqualifying him.

In a letter to Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Gerami wrote that "you registration made everyone happy and the slogan of “the savior of the nation arrived” filled the election atmosphere. It also increased the value of national currency. For you this achievement is enough.

Reformist politician and cleric Abdollah Noori also wrote to Rafsanjani, saying that "even though you tried to show through your registration that the current government was a failure and not the Islamic Republic, unfortunately some are trying to destroy the Islamic Republic by eliminating the “Republic”. From now on you can be the axis of moderation between Principlists and Reformists."

Hojatoleslam Mohsen Duago, Friday prayer leader of Shemiranat praised Rafsanjani in his speech, saying that "Rafsanjani’s personality on its own is important and valuable and this is not because of the position of presidency." Duago said that the Guardian Council had "destroyed people's trust."

Presidential Election Watch: Aref Edition

Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref’s speech on IRIB's Jame Jam channel --- the channel for Iranians living abroad --- was cut off after he praised former Presidents Khatami and Rafsanjani.

An EA correspondent noted that Aref's broadcast was immediately was cut off after he said these sentences. The correspondent added: "After a few minutes IRIB announced due to the technical difficulties this program is cut off and they are working on it to get the program broadcasted as soon as possible."

Aref said that "Unfortunately in our country, we don’t use our valuable human resources….if I become P resident I will definitely use the potential of Khatami, who is the messenger of peace in international society, and [I will] also use Rafsanjani’s potential and influence in Middle East.  

Alireza Khamesian, the head of Aref’s office, criticised IRIB and said this shows that IRIB is not neutral.

Meanwhile, the Tabnak website --- close to Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei --- claimed that Aref and Hassan Rohani had held separate meetings with Rafsanjani.

Presidential Election Watch: Khamenei Commnents On Election

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has used his Twitter account to call on Iranians to vote for candidates who will emphasize Iran's "national esteem" and "resistance". Khamenei has also cautioned candidates not to misuse campaign funds.

Presidential Election Watch: Sepah Edition

Sobhe Sadegh, the weekly publication of the Revolutionary Guards, has published an article examining "strategies for dealing with the enemy" in the elections, and said that Iran's enemies fear the "political epic" of the June Presidential election.

The article compares the Western and Iranian electoral systems, concluding --- unsurprisingly --- that the Iranian system is better. However, Sobhe Sadegh warns, the enemy has attempted to undermine Iran's elections in the past by using pressure, intimidations and subversion. The enemy has not been successful, the article says, but cautions that Iran should employ increased vigilance in the upcoming election to combat the enemy's complex plots.

This year's election would be a "political epic", Sobhe Sadegh note, because it represented part of the historical discourse of religion and the divine.

Presidential Election Watch: Rezaei Edition

Presidential candidate and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaei has criticized what he says are skyrocketing levels of corruption in Iran.

Rezaei focussed on living conditions and the economy in his televised address on Sunday night, saying that he had met with many people around Iran and listened to their concerns.

Rezaei has also used his news website, Tabnak, as a campaign platform, writing that the Iranian people should not have to live with high levels of poverty, inflation and inflation. Rezaei also spoke of Iranian culture and "our revolution".

"Some people talk like there aren't any problems with society. I strongly oppose them. We have manufactured missiles capable of hitting targets thousands of kilometers away, but we are unable to provide people with basic foods," Rezaei added.

Rezaei also slammed Ahmadinejad's administration --- something he has done for years --- and said that even though sanctions have hurt Iran, the major problems have come from inside the country and were a result of government mismanagement of the economy.

The former IRGC chief also said that, if elected, he would improve the position of Iran's minorities, saying that it was not a concern that minorities were educated in their native languages and not in Persian.

Economy Watch: Governor Of Central Bank Says No Way To Curb Inflation

The governor of Iran's Central Bank has said that nothing more can be done to curb the country's rampant inflation.

"The [inflation] rate is very high. But, what can we do? We did our best to reduce the inflation, but that was all we could do," Mahmoud Bahmani said.

Last year, the Central Bank paid 1,956 billion rials in financial facilities, 31.7 percent of which was paid to the production and industry sector, he noted.

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