Another presidential election is unfolding in Iran. Many observers expect a low turnout as many ordinary Iranians are either discouraged or disillusioned. However, those in power seem not to mind.
The political elite of the Islamic Republic of Iran had once considered elections a source of the regime’s legitimacy. According to them, Iranians who voted in the past polls approved the system and wanted to participate. However, it all changed when Iranians increasingly voted for the candidates not endorsed by the hard-liners. In 1997 Iranians surprised the political establishment by voting for the Reformist Mohammad Khatami. In the years that followed, presidential elections remained a point of dispute.