Iran will vote in June for a successor to President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate-reformist government, but politics in the country is dominated by the nuclear issue and no frontrunner has emerged.
Several conservative heavyweights are thought to be considering running in the key June 18 race, with the winner to help set the direction of the Islamic republic. “For the moment, the electoral atmosphere remains cold,” political analyst Amir Mohebian told AFP, adding that when politicians “try to warm it up, people are not paying attention.”
Following the election of US President Joe Biden, Washington, European powers and Tehran are trying to salvage the troubled 2015 nuclear accord, which granted Iran international sanctions relief in return for restrictions on its nuclear programme.
The accord has been nearing collapse since Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
Rouhani, who bet on engagement with the West when Barack Obama was president only to see tensions soar under Trump, has shown a willingness to engage with the incoming Biden administration.