As voters prepare to go to the polls this week, we look at the two frontrunners and probe what is at stake for the country
Whats the story and why is it important?
Iran goes to the canvas on 19 May in the two countries first presidential elections since the landmark nuclear arrangement in 2015, when Tehran agreed to roll back its nuclear programme in return for the removal of sanctions. The fate of that bargain has been shed in doubt since Donald Trump took the helm at the White House, but despite his increasingly belligerent hyperbole, the US president has so far not taken any serious measures in place to scrap these agreements.
Irans interaction with countries around the world is at post. The incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, raised Iran in from the coldnes, even regarding direct talks with the US under Trumps predecessor, something that was a taboo for more than three decades. The trajectory of Irans foreign policy changed dramatically under Rouhani, a moderate cleric, but that approach could alter under a brand-new chairwoman.
Internally, a Rouhani defeat would deal a blow to the countrys reformists and creating hardliners back in superpower.
The election comes at a critical time in Iran: in recent years, specially since 2014 when the countrys supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, underwent prostate surgery, supposition about his potential successor has grown.
Khamenei has the final say in all government matters in Iran, but in cases where there his death the president can have a crucial role in the appointment of the next ruler, even though it is not up to him to choose one. Khamenei was himself president in the 1980 s when Ayatollah Khomeini, the then supreme leader and founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution, croaked. He was then promoted by the council of experts, their own bodies in charge of selecting Irans supreme managers, to superseded Khomeini.
Rouhanis main challenger, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, is believed to have bigger passions than merely the conference of presidents. Over the past year, he has been touted as a frontrunner to attain Khamenei. While it is true that Khameneis authority outstretches that of the president as long as he is alive, a brand-new chairwoman could vastly change the political landscape at home.
What are the issues?
Resolving the stalemate over the countrys nuclear programs was Rouhanis main expedition predict in the 2013 ballots and on this metric he has succeeded.
But such elections are also seen as a referendum on how he has acted economically under the terms of the nuclear accordance. Rouhani has stabilised the Iranian economy and drew down inflation but unemployment is high and his opposings have questioned whether his administration has done enough to introducing tangible financial benefits.
Raisi has represented himself as presidential candidates of the poorest of the poor and is extending awareness-raising campaigns focused on economic priorities, announced design and glory.