Inside presidential elections: Plans and promises

May 15, 2021 - 22:2

TEHRAN — As the registration began to close on Saturday, the Ministry of Interior witnessed many prominent political figures coming and going, including key figures Ebrahim Raeisi and Ali Larijani.

Ayatollah Raeisi, the Judiciary chief, showed up at the ministry on Saturday to register as a presidential candidate. 

A highly favored candidate, he is widely welcomed by principlists and the Endurance Front. 

Like anyone else who thought it was important to run for office, Raeisi said, "I also felt that we needed a great change in the country."

He added, “I am not the competitor of political factions and different groups.”

‘I have no affiliations’

Ali Larijani, the former Parliament speaker and current advisor to the Leader, also came to the ministry at the early hours of Saturday to officially announce his presidential candidacy. 

He stated that he is running independently and he has no affiliations whatsoever with the current administration. 

Larijani, also a former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said that the fate of the nation should be handed to young experts.

“They have high goals and are driven by strong motivations,” Larijani stated.

He noted that a dynamic economy and a predictable life are provided for the people when “the world is under our tune and culture.”

Many analysts believe that the Raisi-Larijani duel will create an enthusiastic election atmosphere and bring more people to the ballet boxes, as it will depict a moderate principlist vs. a principlist. 

‘Iran for all Iranians’

Es’hagh Jahangiri, the first vice president, also nominated to contest the elections race. 

At a press conference held in the Ministry of Interior after his registration, Jahangiri stated that his possible administration would move towards resolving Iran's fundamental problems, securing national interests and agreements and de-escalation the situation inside and outside the country.

He said that he had hoped that there would have been no need for him to run for the presidency, yet, he fielded candidacy as his “dear brother, Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif” refused presidential candidacy. 

He said that he would continue the path opened to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and “untangle the knot of the brutal three-year old sanctions that has badly damaged the Iranian economy.”

He reiterated that Iran should be for all Iranians, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and place of residence.

Backed up by the reformist front, Jahangiri is said to be the main reformist candidate in the elections. It is likely that other pro-reform candidates such as former MP Mahmoud

Sadeghi and Mohsen Hashemi, the president of the Tehran City Council, would quit the race in favor of Jahangiri. 

On his future plans, he said, “I will promote government rejuvenation and institutional reforms that reduce corruption and all forms of discrimination and increase efficiency.”

‘I don’t have a 100-day plan’

On the very first hours of the first day of the election registration, Saeed Mohammed, former director of the Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters, registered as a presidential candidate. 

He said that his registration in the first hours of the process shows his good intentions and added that he is determined to proceed forward with his presidential bid.

He also stated that he is not backed by any parties or groups, neither does he want to be backed up by any of the political parties, as he considers himself one of the ordinary people. 

Mohammad noted that he has “a good resume and a strong team of experts” that helped him set foot in the path of presidential race. 

“Building the country and improving the infrastructure cannot be done in 100 days, and I have a 4-year plan in this field to bring the country to an acceptable level,” he said when asked about his first 100-day plan. 

‘I register due to insistence of people’

The Ministry of Interior witnessed one of its most controversial days to this date when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president, showed up to register as a nominee for the upcoming presidential elections. 

Coming with a group of his fans, he said that he registered in the elections due to an insistence by the people. 

‘My administration will be honest’

Mohsen Rezaei, current secretary of the Expediency Council, came to register as a presidential candidate late on Saturday.

Rezaei declared that he is running independently and this time, he is running on a strong campaign. 

“I’m not here to cover-up the truth. We will tell everything to the people honestly,” he promised. 

Stating that he has come to shield people against difficulties, not to use the people as shields, Rezaei said that he has plans to bring welfare for the people. 

Stating that had the government solved economic issues, he wouldn’t have registered as a candidate, he said that Iran needs what he called an “economic and social uprising” by the people. 

“We will initiate a structural change in the administration of the country,” he said. 

‘Burden of sanctions should be on officials’ shoulders, not people’

Saeed Jalili, former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, also showed up at the Ministry of Interior on Saturday to register for the presidential elections. 

Citing Iran’s fundamental issues, he said that employment, inflation, and sanctions are Iran’s important issues that need to be tacked with. 

Challenging other nominees to present their plans to the people, he said that the candidates should tell the people the result of their 4-year plan. 

“If we do not address the main issues well, some rhetoric can take even the main issues. I hope that in the upcoming elections, rhetoric will not overcome the needs of the people,” he remarked. 

Discussing sanctions, the nuclear negotiator during the Ahmadinejad presidency, stated that the burden of sanctions should be on the officials’ shoulders, not the people. 

Many analysts claim that Jalili would not quit the race in favor of anyone. Backed up by the Endurance Front, analysts say that he should be a cover-up for Raisi in order not to divide the cleric’s votes. 

‘I won’t forfeit’ 

General Hossein Dehghan, former Minister of Defense, also registered on the first day of the election registration. He said that his likely administration would be “the administration of strong Iranian civilians.”

Stating that the administration of a country is not an arena for “political celebrities,” he said that the people of Iran deserve a better life and his administration will be honest with people. 

He also said he is not aligned to any political faction, including reformist or principlist camps.

“My government will be a government of construction that will be formed solely on the basis of merit and will seek to bring real peace to the lives of the people,” the general said. 

On his future administration’s foreign policy plan, Dehghan said that according to his belief, the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on interaction with all countries with the priority of neighbors and friendly countries. 

“This relationship will not be unilateral, but bilateral and multilateral, and certainly the fake Israeli regime has no place on this, but in relation to other countries based on national principles and interests from the position of power and authority and dignity we will move forward by relying on the three principles of dignity, expediency and wisdom”.

When asked if he would quit the race in favor of any other nominees, he said that he’d fight the battle to the very end, as he did not wait for anyone. 

‘Government of welfare and justice’

Another politician who registered in the early hours of the last day was Mohsen Hashemi, the president of the Tehran City Council and a member of the central council of the Executives of Construction Party.

He stated that his government will be the government of “welfare and justice.”

Exemplifying his late father, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, he stated that at this time he can, with the national will, compensate the damages to the welfare and livelihood of the people and their trust, just as his father’s government of construction and labor was able to compensate the underdevelopment caused by the Iraq war in the 1980s. 


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