Iran’s Choice

Iran’s Choice

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BY HALEH ESFANDIARI , THE ATLANTIC –

Hassan Rouhani may prevail in tomorrow’s presidential elections. Whether he can continue on the path to reform is uncertain.

On Friday, Iranians will vote for their next president. The race has essentially boiled down to a choice between a centrist and a hardline conservative—the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, and Ibrahim Raisi, the custodian of the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashad. A clear choice appears to be emerging. Polls in Iran, though not always reliable, are running strongly in Rouhani’s favor; sensible men in the leadership, having tampered with the election results in 2009 only to face massive street protests, are likely to advise abiding by the popular choice.