Candidate Ahmadinejad

The success of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election bid is not a foregone conclusion, writes Benedetta Berti in The Jerusalem Post.

The Iranian president has been under fire at home for economic mismanagement, with Iran’s economy faltering and inflation at 23 percent. Backing by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei helps, but it may not be enough. Berti writes:

The ongoing economic crisis endangers Ahmadinejad’s credibility and popularity within his constituency, and increases the number of critics. Only in the past week, former president and current head of the Assembly of Experts Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani blamed Ahmadinejad’s administration for the ongoing economic and energy crises, saying the country was ready for change.

Given this decline in popularity, it seems that Ahmadinejad’s reelection now depends even more on the support of the conservative coalition, as well as on the backing of the supreme leader. However, neither of these factors can be taken for granted.

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