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Who Are Iran's Voters?

While we have an idea of who will be among the candidates for Iran's presidency, what do we know about Iran's voters?
A youth holds a picture of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a ceremony to mark Khomeini's death anniversary at his tomb at Tehran's Behesht-Zahra cemetery June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY RELIGION) - RTR2N9KQ

The list of candidates registered for the Iranian presidential election in June — at least until they are trimmed by the Guardian Council — offers Iranian voters a reasonable variety of philosophies from which to choose.

As usual, there is a mix of social and economic issues on voters’ minds, but differences between candidates in their approaches to solving Iran’s mounting economic problems matter most. Populists, led by president Ahmadinejad’s close associate Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, promise more redistribution. Pragmatists and reformers, led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, argue for the revival of economic growth. Finally, an assortment of conservatives, led by politicians close to the Supreme Leader, such as former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, will take a middle course promising both growth and redistribution.  

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