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Iran's presidential hopefuls promise big on economy, but can they deliver?

While candidates for the election this Friday have a long list of promises to fix the economy, inefficiencies in Iran's political structure limit the president's ability to make lasting change.
An Iranian man walks by posters of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi outside a campaign office in Tehran on June 7, 2021.

With Iranians heading to the polls to elect a new president later this week, tackling economic challenges is the top priority for many voters. The average Iranian has faced high inflation and economic stagnation over the past few years, and a basic expectation is for the next president to restore some of the lost purchasing power and induce a degree of economic stability. That is why all seven candidates use any opportunity to lay out plans on how to address the country's economic ills. Though these campaigns and televised debates allow political forces to point to the existing shortcomings, their promises are in most cases difficult to achieve.

Ebrahim Raisi, the current head of the Judiciary and the front runner as a candidate, has presented a list of 50 promises related to the economy, but an assessment of some of the key objectives will underline how detached he and his campaign team are from the realities on the ground. Here are some examples that are all planned for the next four years:

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