Next month’s elections in Iran will pit the current President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad against three main opponents – from both ends of the political spectrum. Ahmedinejad is hoping for a second term, his first having been characterised by Iran’s drive for nuclear power which the West fears means weapons.
This morning, the former parliamentary leader Mehdi Karoubi confirmed his candidacy. He’s seen as a reformer, and enjoys the nickname “The Sheikh of Change.” The former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi is also on the list. He is a moderate conservative who also has support on the reformist wing. The final principal contender is Mohsen Rezai, a former leader of the Republican Guard and a fierce critic of Ahmedinejad’s policies. Iran’s successes in the nuclear field have not been matched in the economy, where living standards for the less well-off have fallen under Ahmedinejad.