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Presidential Race Begins in Iran

Analysts are already predicting Iran's likely presidential candidates from figures perceived as likely to cooperate rather than compete with Iran’s leader, writes Shahir Shahidsaless.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) is greeted by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a bilateral meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali November 9, 2012. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday the age of nuclear deterrence was long gone and any country still stockpiling nuclear weapons was "mentally retarded". He again denied Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons, a day after the re-election victory of U.S. President Barack Obama, for whom Tehran's disputed nuclear programme will be one of the thor

Although Iran’s presidential elections are still more than six months away, analysts are already predicting the likely candidates. Most believe that the Guardian Council, which vets candidates for elected office, will bar anyone who appears to have any propensity to challenge Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s authority.

The competition will be among four main political factions:

  • Traditional conservatives who participated in the March 2012 parliamentary elections under the banner of the United Front of Principalists. This front is led by the Association of Militant Clergy and the Society of Qom Seminary Instructors and is relatively moderate on both domestic and international policies.

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