Iran’s Re-engagement With the World at Stake in Friday Presidential Vote

Peace and Freedom

ANKARA — Iranians vote for president on Friday in a contest likely to determine whether Tehran’s re-engagement with the world stalls or quickens, although whatever the outcome no change is expected to its revolutionary system of conservative clerical rule.

Seeking a second term, pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani, 68, remains the narrow favourite, but hardline rivals have hammered him over his failure to boost an economy weakened by decades of sanctions.

Many Iranians feel a 2015 agreement he championed with major powers to lift sanctions in return for curbing Iran’s nuclear programme has failed to produce the jobs, growth and foreign investment he said would follow.

The normally mild-mannered cleric is trying to hold on to office by firing…

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