Iran's Presidential Election 2013: who will succeed Ahmadinejad? – asks Fahimeh Kari

It might be less than a month until Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidential term comes to an end, but he does not seem to believe the fact that everything is almost over and the old good days are going to finish soon. Time to time he was asked “how do you feel about it?” Especially   last years interview of him on State Television.  A journalist asked him the same question and he interjected, and while he was laughing said “How do you know it”?


According to Iranian law, he cannot run the government as an executive power with the name of Iranian president for more than two terms or eight years; the next election will be held on 14 June 2013.The last election in 2009 when Ahmadinejad started a second term of his political role as president of Iran amid allegations of fraud and unrest.

The way of Ahmadinejad’s joking response cannot be accepted just as a simple joke in Iran or anywhere else. He does not seem to be so happy with leaving the government without leaving any trace there. He planned to protect his grip power by grooming someone in his inner circle as his possible successor in this big challenge. Who can be that lucky to be supported by him more than Chief of staff Esfaniar Rahim Mashaei. As a likely candidate, he is the closest person to him than any other in the Cabinet.

He was frequently criticized for comparing Iran to Russia. Mohammad Dehghan, who sits on the Iranian Parliament’s executive board accused him of a Putin/Medvedev style reshuffle. “Ahmadinejad should know that Iran is not Russia and he is not Putin. Ahmadinejad’s Medvedev [a reference to Mashaei] has no position among the public opinion and he will not have any position in future,” he said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

There is no big hope for another green movement like the one that happened during 2009 in Iran, whereby protesters called for the removal of Ahmadinejad from office. Reformists would not agree to run the government in this state of everything falling apart in what is the worst situation that Iran has confronted after Iranian war with Iraq. They believe it takes a long time to get to the certain point that would be called a survival point. There is much speculation about who will be Ahmadinejad’s Successor. Many names are on the table, but who would take the risk to take on the overwhelming current problems of Iran? This is the main question, but one thing is clear enough to be happy about; whoever takes over the mandate, it will not be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


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