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Did Rouhani just nip Tehran mayor’s presidential challenge in the bud?

In Iran, leaks indicating massive corruption are surfacing one after another in an apparent factional fight ahead of the country’s May 2017 presidential election.
Supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Tehran's mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf hold a banner depicting him, in Shahr-e-Rey, south of Tehran, on June 7, 2013. Candidates vying for Iran's presidency clashed on June 7 in a heated televised exchange over nuclear talks with world powers, with pointed criticism aimed at top nuclear negotiator and hardline candidate Saeed Jalili. AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

TEHRAN, Iran — A war is going on in the Islamic Republic. The war of whistle-blowing was launched by hard-liners who disclosed the pay slips of some managers appointed by the administration of moderate President Hassan Rouhani. These leaks, were used to damage Rouhani’s approval rating and instill the sense that Rouhani has reneged on his electoral promise of fighting corruption.

It seems that the hard-liners have a new weapon to use against Rouhani over the eight remaining months of his current term in office. It is clear that along with hard-line figures, Friday prayer leaders are frequently reminding people of the pay stub scandals to foment pessimism about the moderate president.

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