Inside Iran Politics

USF’s Mohsen Milani, an expert on Iran, weighs in on the upcoming Iranian presidential election in an essay in Foreign Affairs journal.

USF News

TAMPA, Fla.  (May 16, 2013) – Mohsen Milani, director of the University of South Florida’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies and an internationally-known expert on Iran, offers a preview of the upcoming elections that could have global implications for the United States and its allies in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs.

As in past pieces Milani has written for the publication, considered among the world’s most notable centers of thought on international events, Milani’s take on Iran was quickly ranked as the most popular  article on the website.

With Iran’s presidential election coming in June, Iran is closely watched for both its nuclear ambitions and the political strength of voters who in 2009 staged the Green Movement, a massive political opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Last week, two entries into the presidential contest set the stage for more political drama and potential unrest. Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani filed to run, as did Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and close confidant. Both candidates must get past a review by the country’s Guardian Council, which judges potential officeholders on how closely they hold to ideological stances of the conservative Shiite Muslim clerics on the council.

Milani writes in his essay that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, had developed a strategy to avoid a repeat of the 2009 presidential elections, which led to massive demonstrations and the discrediting of the regime. But now the two candidates present a challenge to ones preferred by the religious establishment, who carry less political baggage but also less popular support.

To read Milani’s essay, visit Foreign Affairs.