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Reformist Khatami Enters Iran’s Presidential Race

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami announced Sunday that he will run against conservative incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in this summer’s presidential election. The Times reports that Khatami has a large following in Iran and his chances will be helped by difficult economic conditions in Iran, including run away inflation and a collapse in revenue due to the recent slide in oil prices. Corruption is also a major issue that could hurt Ahmadinejad. However, conservative politicians are still (halfheartedly) behind Ahmadinejad, and he still has the support of Iran’s Supreme Leader, who retains the most political power in Iran.

Khatami oversaw reforms that lead to major advances in free speech as President from 1997 to 2005. This coincided with an explosion in Iranian blogging as well as the opening of a number of reformist newspapers, although those reforms have since been harshly reversed. In announcing his candidacy on Sunday, Khatami said,
“The Iranian nation’s historical demand is to have freedom, independence and justice, and I will work for that.”

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One Response to “Reformist Khatami Enters Iran’s Presidential Race”

  1. » Khatami Bows Out of Presidential Election I&D Blog Says:

    […] we’ve written here before, during Khatami’s presidency a number of independent newspapers were allowed to open, […]