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Friday
Jun072013

Iran Special: Highlights From The Third Presidential Debate

Iran's Presidential race has, in many ways, turned into a contest not only between the eight individual candidates but perhaps even more so between the Principlist/ Conservative and the Reformist/Moderate camps.

Although Friday's Third Presidential debate was an opportunity for the candidates to set out their views and policies on foreign policy and politics, it also provided a space to explore this factional divide.

Principlist and conservative candidates --- Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Gholam-Ali Haddad- Adel -- used the debate to criticize the Reformists and past Reformist governments, while Reformist candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref and his moderate counterpart Hassan Rouhani slammed the Principlist movement and the current Ahmadinejad administration. Independent candidates Mohsen Rezaei and Mohammad Gharazi hit out at both factions and called for an end to factionalism.

Some of the main highlights of the debate (thanks to Al Jazeera English and Hassan Rouhani's campaign team, who live-tweeted the debate).

On Factionalism

Principlist candidate and Supreme National Security Council secretary Saeed Jalili criticized the reformist Khatami administration for its foreign policy performance post September 11.

Rouhani slammed the principlist Qalibaf for his comments on foreign policy:

Aref on the principlists:

Gharazi says there need to be more camps, not just the b inary reformists vs. principlists:

Velayati complains about the way he was treated under the reformist Khatami administration:

Haddad-Adel also slams the Khatami administration, waxing poetic about how the reformists purged the principlists:

On Public Security And Censorship

Aref, responding to Rezaei, asked:

Aref also criticized the security situation --- and factionalism --- under the current administration:

Rouhani has this to say about censorship and security:

Rouhani --- who injects some interest into the debate after he loses his temper --- says Iranians need security:

Qalibaf blames foreign reporters for criticizing his involvement in student crackdowns:

On Sanctions, Diplomacy and Relations With US

Rouhani says it would be easier for Iran to negotiate with the US than Europe:

Haddad-Adel says Iran was under sanctions even before it began the nuclear program. The nuclear issue is a red herring, according to Haddad-Adel; the real issue is Washington's opposition to the Islamic Revolution:

Gharazi suggests Iran improve its economy so that it can stand up to Washington, like China has:

Rezaei takes issue with Haddad-Adel for failing to offer any ideas for how Tehran can counter the US; he agrees with Gharazi that Iran needs to boost its economy:

Jalili slams Velayati, saying that he does not know what he is talking about when he criticizes his track record as nuclear negotiator:

 

 

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