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Presidential elections in Iran in the shadow of sanctions and political legitimacy deficit

Presidential elections in Iran in the shadow of sanctions and political legitimacy deficit

On June 18, the Islamic Republic of Iran had its 13th presidential elections. Yet again, the Guardian Council did through its vetting of prospective candidates, game the system to the advantage of the conservative factions of the political elite.

Nevertheless, Iranian elections are not easily predictable. The short and intensive campaign tends to sharpen the differences between the candidates, and obvious favourites have on more than one occasion faltered in the actual competition. UI hosted a discussion with two eminent Iran experts to help us unpack what these elections portend for Iran. 


Dr Narges Bajoghli is Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Her book "Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic" (Stanford University Press 2019) was awarded the 2020 Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Dr Bijan Khajehpour is an economist and a managing partner at Eurasian Nexus Partners, a Vienna-based international strategic consulting firm. He is a long time Iran analyst focusing on the energy sector. 

Dr Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. 



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