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Iranian Candidates Vie For 'Party of the Wind'

Presidential candidates are jockeying for position among Iran’s political factions and for the unpredictable swing vote.
Campaign pins of Iranian presidential candidate and lead nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili are displayed for sale at Tehran University in the Iranian capital on June 3, 2013. The eight candidates standing for president this month may differ on several issues, but when it comes to Iran's nuclear drive they are united in pursuing what they see as its peaceful atomic ambitions. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

With less than two weeks until the Iranian presidential election, things are still very much up in the air. Perhaps more than seeking to rally the public, most serious contenders are either focusing their energy on setting up alliances that will boost their positions or waiting for those final configurations to emerge. The result is that we have so far witnessed a far less vibrant pre-election atmosphere compared with 2009. This need not, however, forebode a placid vote.

There is a particularly large swing vote in Iran, where it is locally known as the hezb-e-baad (Party of the Wind). As seen in the last presidential election, and in the days leading up to the deadline for candidate registrations, this swing vote can be rapidly excited and mobilized.

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