22 May, Tuesday

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: Elections in Iran are always unpredictable - EXCLUSIVE


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On Friday,a very intriguing presidential elections will be held in Iran. Both reformist forces and conservatives have chances to success. Both camps are now doing everything possible to achieve victory in the first round.

It is interesting that the former leader of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not admitted to the elections.

The main struggle will unfold between the Iranian President Hasan Roukhani and the hardliners' supporter Ibrahim Raisi.

Some in Iran joke that it will be a struggle of "white" with "black", since Rouhani wears a white turban, and Raisi - a black one.

In 2009, presidential elections ended in mass protests, with victims and hundreds of arrests.

The Iranian, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lana Ravandi-Fadai answered the questions of
Eurasia Diary about the growing excitement around the elections and expressed her supposition about a possible victory of one of the candidates.

Eurasia Diary: What is the agiotage in the press about the forthcoming presidential elections in Iran?

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: There is a serious struggle in Iran. Elections are unusual. There has never been such a tough political struggle and intense competition for the president nominated for a second term, as for Ruhani. From those who come to power will depend either on stability or tensions in the region.

The excitement is also associated with the political culture in the country, the upcoming elections are pushing the interests of various classes of Iranian society.

Eurasia Diary: Traditionally, all presidents in Iran entered the second term of their presidency. What are the chances of the current president of Ruhani?

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: Ruhani's rating has fallen dramatically, as the company "one term of Ruhani" began already in one and a half year. And they did everything to prevent him from re-election. Even more the situation was aggravated when the administration of the US president changed and Trump came to power. With all his statements, in which he attributed Iran to a terrorist state, it became clear to the ultra-conservative camp that a stronger candidate was needed that would be able to resist Trump.
Raisi receives support from the media, which is determined primarily by their engagement.

The Ruhani support moderate forces, the main party Etedale Tousseye on which Ruhani relies, was supported by most of the reformers. The reformers lost strong support with the death of Rafsanjani. At the same time, Khatami's support has remained unchanged, although in the official Iranian media any photographs, speeches and even mentioning Khatami are banned. Despite this, appealing to his supporters in social networks, Khatami called to take part in the vote and give his vote for Rouhani.

The leader follows the pre-election campaign and reacts particularly sharply to Ruhani's statements.

Eurasia Diary: How do you think any of the candidates have a better chance of winning?

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: And despite the fact that none of the analysts could predict the election victory in Khatami in 1997, or the victory in the election of Ahmadinejad in 2005, because the elections in Iran are unpredictable, I still venture and say , Which in my opinion will benefit Ruhani.

Eurasia Diary: The main struggle will unfold between reformers and conservatives. How will the victory of each party affect the domestic political process and international relations?

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: Now three rounds of presidential candidates' debates have taken place and the international theme has hardly sounded. In the main, economic problems, improving living conditions, unemployment, etc. were discussed.

But, all candidates are in favor of adherence to the agreement on the nuclear program, despite the problems that this agreement contains. In response to Raisi's criticism of the incumbent government about an agreement that was not the best for Iran, Rouhani recalled that Raisi was against negotiations with the "six" and when Trump came, they were eagerly waiting for him to break the agreement.

Rouhani believes that Iran plays an increasingly prominent role in the international arena and has an increasing influence on the solution of regional and international problems. The remaining candidates, based on their pre-election statements, do not have any specific international agenda.

Eurasia Diary: Will the outcome of the elections affect relations with the West and Russia?

Lana Ravandi-Fadai: I think that building relations with the United States will mainly depend on America's policy towards Iran. The relationship should not be one-sided, but Iran fulfills all agreements, and the US has not released part of the frozen Iranian assets, and after all, European countries in terms of sanctions follow a policy similar to US policy.

Of course, Rukhani stands for rapprochement with the West and his victory will guarantee stability in the region.

If Raisi comes to power, the situation can radically change, since this person, despite the fact that he is an independent candidate, and not from the Front of the Conservatoire.

Interviewer: Natalia Guliyeva

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