Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini has called on presidential candidates not to make concessions to the West.
Several candidates have said they will sit down with international leaders to resolve the nuclear rift to get economic sanctions lifted.
However, Khameini’s comments reminded presidential hopefuls that ruling clerics held sway in the Islamic Republic. He also insisted he had no favourite, despite international media reports to the contrary.
Candidates face a slim economic inheritance as international sanctions over its nuclear ambitions continue to wreak havoc in the country. Inflation has reached 31 percent making life difficult for many.
“I had a good income last year and it has been fine this year. The difference is last year I could put a bit of money to one side. But now saving is out of the question. Making it to the end of the month is my main concern,” explained one Tehran resident who works in computer programming.
There is also the prospect of a ‘lost generation’ as unemployment rises to 13 percent.
“Finding a job (is my biggest concern). Even if I get my masters (degree) there is no guarantee that there will be a job opportunity for me. Nothing is clear about the future,” said one Tehran student.
With elections to be held on June 14, the US has issued fresh sanctions this time on Iran’s currency to put further pressure on the country to abandon its nuclear programme, which will further cripple the country’s economy.