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Iran Elections and Political Development Watch


Reports and Memos

Iranian Presidential Election Primer
Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj - FDD Research
Iranian presidential elections happen every four years and follow a strict sequence. The first phase is registration, which this year lasted from April 10 to 14… Read more (05/16/2017)

Mohsen Qomi: A Revolutionary Diplomat on the Rise
Saeed Ghasseminejad - FDD Research
“Mohsen Qomi, a 56-year-old cleric, is a Khamenei confidant and his aide for international relations.”…Read more (03/02/2017)

Policy Briefs

Iran's Presidential Election and the Role of Women
Tzvi Kahn - FDD Policy Brief
More than 130 women and nearly 1,500 men registered to run in the Iranian presidential election next month. But on Thursday, Iran’s Guardian Council – an unelected, 12-member body that screens candidates for loyalty to the regime’s Islamist ideology – rejected all of the women and allowed only six men to compete…Read more (04/21/2017)

Hardline Iranian Cleric Announces Presidential Run
Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj - FDD Policy Brief
“A hardline Iranian political coalition announced its updated slate of candidates Thursday for the May presidential election.”…Read more (04/07/2017)

Rafsanjani: A Revolutionary, Not a Reformer
Behnam Ben Taleblu - FDD Policy Brief
“Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack Sunday at age 82.” …Read more (01/09/2017)


How Trump can help cripple the Iranian regime
Reuel Marc Gerecht- The Washington Post
“A consensus has developed in Washington for some “push back” against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”…
Read more (04/07/2017)

Rouhani, the Deceiver
John Hannah, Saeed Ghasseminejad - Foreign Policy
“In two months’ time — on May 19, to be exact — Iran will hold presidential elections.”… Read more (03/21/2017)

Defining violent extremism down
Clifford D. May- The Washington Times
“Death, where is thy sting? For Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, it certainly didn’t come from the mainstream media.”…Read more (01/18/2017)

Iran’s Rafsanjani: A legacy of terrorism and repression behind a facade of moderation 
Reuel Marc Gerecht - The Washington Post
Shortly before his death, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president and clerical major domo, mused on the Holocaust. “For instance, it is said that six million Jews died. Later accounts reveal that although people died, many Jews were in hiding during those days; ‘the dead’ are actually still living.”…Read more (01/09/2017)

In the News

Tehran mayor leaves Iran's presidential race to back fellow conservative in bid to unseat Rouhani
Behnam Ben Taleblu - Quoted by Erin Cunningham - The Washington Post
Iranian presidential hopeful Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf withdrew Monday from the race to unseat the country’s moderate leader, in a move to unite conservatives behind fellow hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi in the homestretch for Friday’s election… Read more (05/15/2017)

The nuclear deal takes center stage as Iran's election campaign gets underway
Behnam Ben Taleblu - Quoted by Carol Morello, Erin Cunningham - The Washington Post
Iran’s short, intense presidential campaign kicks off Friday with the first televised debate between six candidates in a race widely seen as a referendum on whether Iranians feel they have benefited from the nuclear deal that took effect last year… Read more (04/27/2017)

US Nearly Silent on Iran’s Presidential Election as Policy Toughens
Behnam Ben Taleblu - Quoted by Michael Lipin - Voice of America
The persecution of Turkish Christians could intensify after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was granted massive new powers by the people through a referendum on Sunday, a Muslim Turk who used to serve in the Parliament fears… Read more (04/21/2017)

Former Iranian Leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Launches Presidential Bid
Behnam Ben Taleblu - Quoted by Aresu Eqbali, Asa Fitch - The Wall Street Journal
Former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday filed to run in presidential elections next month, a surprise bid by a longtime nemesis of the West to return to the forefront of the country’s politics and back to the world stage… Read more (04/12/2017)

Hard-Line Cleric Ebrahim Raisi Launches Bid for Iranian Presidency
Behnam Ben Taleblu Quoted by Asa Fitch - The Wall Street Journal
Hard-line Iranian cleric Ebrahim Raisi announced he would run in the country’s presidential election next month, challenging an incumbent who has tried to engineer an economic turnaround and sought closer ties with the West… Read more (04/09/2017)