A conservative is expected to triumph in Iran’s latest election – but apathy will be the big winner

Even candidates are worried about the will of people to vote, writes Kim Sengupta

Thursday 17 June 2021 17:52
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<p>Supporters of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi during a rally in Tehran</p>

Supporters of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi during a rally in Tehran

The last presidential election in Iran four years ago was a vibrant and exciting time. The nuclear agreement with international powers had been signed, bringing with it great hopes of the country opening up to the world after years of semi-isolation: sweeping social and economic reforms were expected to follow.

There were processions, marches and public meetings, impassioned speeches, a sense of energy and expectation about what lay ahead.

A rally for the reformist President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran’s Khomeini Square was filled with young people, half of them women. An orchestra with violins, cellos and Iranian setar and tamburs played traditional and modern music. The crowd chanted “we are building a new Iran” and were eager to speak to the foreign journalists present about how they wanted to see their country progress.

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