Sunday, May 12, 2013

Iran Surprises Again!

    Sunday, May 12, 2013   No comments

Saeed Jalili
by Farideh Farhi

Okay, it is time to admit that the only thing predictable about Iranian politics these days is its unpredictability!

There are people who know Iran well and as early as a few months ago thought that the next president of the country was already decided by the powers that be. There are also others who will say that they predicted all this. I am not one of these.

I am stunned. As of late yesterday (Friday), I did not think that former president and current Expediency Council chair Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani would run for the presidency. All the talk about his entry – and the previous talk and hope about former president Mohammad Khatami’s entry – was mostly tactical, I thought. The loud calls – and pleas – for either Khatami or Hashemi Rafsanjani to run were to show the depth of their support among various sectors of Iranian society, from a good number of the urban middle classes to the business community. I thought it was sort of a flexing of social power muscle. But, given the hysterical reaction both former presidents elicit from the hardliners, I thought they would ultimately be reluctant to run, in the end preferring to throw their support to another candidate who would try to carefully pull the country to the middle.

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