Beyond the 2013 Iranian Presidential Election

Beyond the 2013 Iranian Presidential Election

  • 29 May 2013

Iran remains critical to numerous US national security challenges, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Arab–Israeli peace, terrorism, energy security, and nuclear proliferation. However, varied attempts by the Obama administration to compel and coerce Tehran into a nuclear compromise have failed. Given the unprecedented international pressure – including US sanctions against its central bank and an EU oil embargo – how sustainable is Tehran’s nuclear intransigence? What is Iran’s nuclear “end-game”?

Ahead of the June 14, 2013 presidential election – which will bring to an end the era of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – key questions about Tehran’s internal power dynamics remain unclear. Who is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s preferred candidate? Does 79-year-old former President Hashemi Rafsanjani stand a chance of winning? How will the regime manage Ahmadinejad’s abdication from power, especially if his close confidante Rahim Mashaei is either not permitted to run or loses the election? What is the likelihood of a popular uprising, similar to that of 2009?

Can the 73-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei retain his tight grip on power, or has Tehran morphed from a clerical autocracy into a military dictatorship ruled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards? Could the election of a more moderate Iranian president alter Iran’s nuclear policies, or lead to a diplomatic breakthrough with the United States? At a time of unprecedented turmoil in the Middle East, just how stable is the Iranian regime?

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Wednesday 29 May 2013

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Wednesday 29 May 2013

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