The debate was full of remarks. The seven candidates in the running will still have two more meetings before the presidential elections scheduled for June 18. The authorities expect a massive participation, in a ballot box traversed by three years of US sanctions.
It was the first debate among the seven candidates for the presidency of Iran and was marked by strong criticism. The applicants accused each other of treason and lack of education to lead the country, whose economy is devastated by three years of US sanctions.
Conservatives directed their accusations towards the current president Hasan Rohani – the main moderate opponent – for his eight-year tenure as head of the government, as well as towards the reformist Abdolnaser Hemmati, former head of the Iranian Central Bank from 2018 until last Sunday.
Hemmati blamed the most radical of the increase in tensions with the West, which, in his opinion, has worsened the economic problems of the Islamic nation. “They have closed our economy and our foreign contacts. I ask you and your friends, companies and institutions to withdraw from our economy, and then Iran’s economy will surely improve,” he asserted firmly.
Also, radical candidate and judicial chief Seyed Ebrahim Raisi was asked: “Mr. Raisi, can you assure me that no legal action will be taken against me after this event?”
A journalist based in Tehran and quoted by the Reuters agency said that “Hemmati has attracted the support of some who would not otherwise go to vote. Among other things, his decision to be represented in a state television interview by his wife has impressed some women. “
For his part, the former head of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezaee, blamed Hemmati for “fully complying” with the US sanctions, arguing that for this he should face charges of treason against the Islamic Republic.
“If I become president, I will prohibit Hemmati and several other officials of the Rohani government from leaving the country, and I will prove what treacherous roles they played,” said Rezaee, a doctor in economics, who also assured that he would raise the current cash subsidy up to ten times. paid monthly to the people, for an improvement of the economic situation. Currently, this aid does not reach two euros (no more than between two and three dollars).
The moderate politician Mohsen Mehralizadeh charged Raisi by stating that the economy cannot be run by those with only traditional administrative studies.
“He has only six years of classical education and, respecting his seminary studies, I must say that you cannot manage the economy and make plans for the country with that education,” said the applicant who has a doctorate in financial administration.
In turn, Raisi, a doctor of Islamic law, criticized President Rohani for the inflation hitting the country and the rapid fall of the rial, the Iranian currency.
Following the debate, Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei asked state television to allow the government to respond to the “accusations and slander” raised against it by some candidates.
With Reuters and EFE