The Presidential elections will take place Friday, May 18, 2017. If neither candidate wins by a majority of 50% then round 2 will take place on May 26, 2017.
Here is what you need to know:
1-Is Iran a Democracy?
The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has the ultimate authority. He is appointed for life and has final say on foreign and domestic policy. Additionally, he appoints the Guardian Council which decides who can and can’t run as President.
2-Who are the main candidates?
Hassan Rouhani (Reformist) - The incumbent president who is running for a second term. His run for re-election is viewed as a referendum of sorts on the nuclear deal.
Ebrahim Raisi (Principlist) - Raisi, a Muslim scholar is seen to be very close to the current Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ebrahim stands on the other side of Rouhani's beliefs and has expressed doubts about the benefits of the nuclear deal.
3-What is the difference between a Reformist and a Principalist?
Reformists are more liberal, as they believe in opening Iran up to the world while encouraging foreign investment in the country and focusing on the rights of Iranian citizens. They are ardent supporters of the Iran Deal.
Principlists are considered to be the conservatives.They are not in favor of opening up to the outside world. This puts them on the opposite side with regards to the nuclear deal.
Regardless of how the candidate might present themselves, they are still considered acceptable by the Islamic radicals who allow them to run in the presidential elections. The President is a mere puppet of the Supreme Leader.
4-What are the main concerns in Iran?
Economy & Nuclear Deal
The only positive result of the Iran deal has been the reduction of inflation(from 40 percent to 7.5 percent) causing the growth rate out of the negative up to 7 percent.
On the other hand, there hasn’t been an improvement on unemployment, as Iran still hasn’t been able to attract the international investment that would cause job creation.
5-Does the election have an effect on Iranian-US Relations?
The victory of either candidate will not have a large impact on the foreign relationship between US and Iran. Nor will there be any major shift in Iranian regional policy, which is largely guided by the Supreme Leader of a radical Islamic government. Iran will continue to sponsor terrorism throughout the world as they chant "death to America and Israel". President Trump has made it clear that the Iran deal is the worst agreement ever made and he has plans to change that to protect America from Iran's threats.
To learn more about the danger imposed by Iran click here.