In a report, Agence France-Presse presented the most prominent thing that awaits the new president before the election date, which will witness a second round on the 25th of this year in the event that none of the seven candidates obtains an absolute majority in the first round.
The economic situation is a priority on the agenda of the new president of the Republic, as Iran entered an economic recession starting in 2018, following the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement on the nuclear program, and its re-imposition of severe economic sanctions on Tehran.
In the first of three debates in preparation for the elections, former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezaei accused moderate candidate former Central Bank chief Abdel Nasser Hemmati of “full acquiescence” to US sanctions and said he should face charges of treason, according to Reuters.
For his part, Hemati accused ultra-conservatives of being behind Iran’s isolation in the international arena and the undermining of its economy, which is dominated by large sectors of large institutions run by conservatives.
The crisis was exacerbated by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, to which Iran is the most affected country in the Middle East.
The seven candidates stressed the priority of lifting US sanctions, which it is hoped will be achieved through the indirect talks currently taking place in Vienna in an effort to revive the agreement through Washington’s return to it, and to launch the wheel of the local economy again.
“If the sanctions are lifted, this will reflect stability on the macroeconomic environment with an increase in growth and a decline in the level of inflation,” said Thierry Covel, a researcher at the Institute of International Relations and Strategy “IRIS” in Paris.
The expert in the Iranian economy believes that this must be accompanied by providing for the needs of citizens “because one of the risks is that people will think that everything will improve immediately (if sanctions are lifted), and in this case they will face great disappointment.”
Moderate candidate Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh said the economy could not be run by those who only hold traditional degrees in religious sciences such as the hard-line conservative head of the judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, the favorite to win the elections.
Alizadeh, who holds a doctorate in financial management, added, “All you have is six years of traditional education, and with all due respect to your religious studies, I must say that one cannot manage the economy and draw up plans for the state with such education.”
Raisi has attacked the Rouhani government for accelerating inflation and the rapid devaluation of the Iranian currency and dismissed the comments of Hemmati and other moderates who blame US sanctions for exacerbating Iran’s economic hardship and who say that without good governance the country would have been much worse off.
Even in the event of reaching a settlement on the nuclear file, which is an issue in light of the gradual progress achieved by the continuous talks since the beginning of April in Vienna, the French researcher, Clément Terme, who specializes in Iranian affairs at the European University Institute in Florence, believes that this “will not lead to The return of foreign investors to the Iranian market in the short term.
Iran and the United States have made progress on nearly every issue under discussion in their indirect talks over the past two months on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, but a deal appears to be a long way off at a time when many difficult issues remain unresolved, according to Reuters. For The Washington Post.
He adds that “an indispensable condition for this to happen is normalization of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington.”
But such a thing seems unlikely, especially in light of the mistrust and mistrust between Tehran and Washington, which Iran considers the “Great Satan.”
Therefore, Term considers that “the new president must find a new path in order to ensure a minimum improvement in the economic conditions of the people by managing the level of tension with (US President Joe) Biden’s administration.”
Raisi expressed his desire to give priority to strengthening Iran’s relations with neighboring countries. In the event of his victory, it is expected that the relationship with Western countries will continue to be disturbed, in exchange for working to improve relations with nearby countries, most notably Saudi Arabia, according to some analysts, according to AFP.
Getting out of the health crisis
Iran is the country in the Middle East most affected by the Corona virus, and has not yet been able to proceed with the national vaccination campaign with the desired speed.
The new government can speed up the process if Tehran obtains an easing of sanctions in this area, or if some locally produced vaccine projects succeed in completing clinical tests and obtaining official approval for their approval.
Restoring people’s trust
Reformist journalist Ahmad Zaidabadi believes that “the crisis of trust (between the people and the authorities) is deep and wide.”
One indication of this is the record abstention rate (57 percent) from participating in the 2020 legislative elections, which is feared will also be reflected in the presidential elections.
With the conservative-dominated Guardian Council’s decision to bar moderate candidates and prominent conservatives from running in the elections, the vote is likely to see a record low turnout, according to Reuters.
Iran has witnessed several stations in the past years that have contributed to deepening this chasm, such as the accidental downing of the Ukrainian plane “by mistake” and the death of 178 people on board in January 2020, for which the authorities did not acknowledge responsibility until three days after denial, or dealing with severity and casualties. During protests in winter 2017-2018 and November 2019.
Zaidabadi believes that “the next government should take some immediate measures to restore confidence,” including “lifting the ban on some social networks such as Telegram and Twitter, and reducing the strictness regarding the veil.”
The environment.. forgotten
Kovel considers that “the environmental crisis in Iran has become a reality”, but so far “there is an impression that the government is still unable to develop a policy” to deal with it.
For his part, Zaid Abadi believes that “financial resources are exhausted,” also referring to “the destruction of natural resources” under pressure from some economic activities, expressing his regret that “officials completely forget (this crisis) as soon as it rains twice.”
Environmental issues were absent from the candidates’ statements during the three television debates that took place between them.
Term believes that “environmental questions will be of great importance”, but “the causes of the problem go beyond the powers of the president”, and are linked to semi-official “corporate economic interests” that are not linked to the government.