by: Lieutenant Colonel Michael Segel, Iran desk
- The first confrontation between the 7 candidates took place on Saturday and dealt mainly with economics
- The debate very quickly slipped into a personal struggle and quickly went "below the belt"
The first televised confrontation that took place on Saturday June 5 on the Iranian Broadcasting Authority's news channel with the seven candidates revealing details about the regime's corruption and many irregularities among the regime's bodies and some embarrassing details about the competitors' past and some even explicitly threatened their lives.
The first of the three clashes that will take place until the election on the regime's television channels has been devoted to economic issues, but from its very first seconds, the candidates have moved on to sharp personal attacks. At the same time, all seven agreed that the economic situation was unprecedented in its severity in Iran's modern history.
Abdolnaser Hemmati, who until two weeks ago served as Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and Mohsen Mehralizadeh, a former head of Iran's physical education organization, proved during the conflict that they were both pro-reformist candidates without explicitly mentioning it and tried to gain the Iranian voices of the disappointed of this camp.
Ibrahim Raisi, who is widely believed to be the preferred candidate for the regime's supreme leader and Revolutionary Guards and many other conservative bodies in the country, emerged during the conflict as the weakest candidate of the seven and was forced to constantly defend himself.
The reformist candidate, Muhsin Mt. Alizadeh, turned to Ayatollah Raisi and asked him “With all due respect to your religious degree, how can you solve the terrible complication of the Iranian economy when you have only studied 6 classes in classical studies and then been to religious meetings? Do you understand economics at all? You are like a new driver who wants to drive on a hard road in the north of the country. Would you like your family to be in the bus of a new driver speeding into the abyss? ”
"Suleimani turned Iran into a regional power at the cost of a crumbling economy"
Abdul Nasser Hamati, who was clearly the leading and strongest candidate in the conflict, also criticized the absence of women candidates in the elections, adding that he came to defend the "republic" of the Iranian government. He also said that Qassem Suleimani had turned Iran into a regional power but "it is a power with a crumbling economy that also faces even more serious economic dangers if conservatives sit on the presidency."
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