Can Rouhani, Facing Re-Election in Iran, Fend Off Two Hard-Liners?

Supporters of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a campaign rally ahead of the May 19 presidential election, Tehran, May 9, 2017 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).
Supporters of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a campaign rally ahead of the May 19 presidential election, Tehran, May 9, 2017 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).
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While most of the Middle East is imploding from civil wars, terrorism, despotism and sectarianism, Iran will hold its 12th presidential election next week, on May 19. Despite the absence of palpable public enthusiasm, the election will have a profound impact on the fate of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and seven global powers; on Iran’s relations with the United States; and on the ailing Iranian economy. Looming large on the horizon, too, is the sensitive issue of who could succeed the 78-year-old supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose health is rumored to be poor, since the president […]

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