Continuing our series of articles on Iranian politics, Kevjn LIm analyses the six contenders in the forthcoming presidential election and assesses the chances of re-election for the moderate incumbent, Hassan Rouhani.
Despite the obvious constraints, elections in Iran - whether for the Assembly of Experts, the presidency, the parliament, or even the regional municipalities - can still tell observers a lot. And they also matter; they can be the difference between the slow wearing down of the hardliners’ outsized control or the further consolidation of power in their hands. This Open Briefing article for Foreign Affairs explores how the coming Assembly of Experts vote could shape Iran's future.
To understand the Islamic Republic we need to not look not at its consistencies but at its 'adjustments'. Iran has now placed a premium on maximising both influence and soft power, constantly renegotiating its margins of maneuver and seeking situations of strength where possible. Whatever hard power it still holds, it has repurposed into tools of deterrence in order to hold its enemies hostage against the threat of regime decapitation and war.
Open Briefing: Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani’s positive reputation among Western powers when he led Iran’s nuclear negotiations provides Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, if he wants, with the pretext for greater flexibility at this critical point.