Bogacheva Anastasia
Presidential campaign 2021 in Iran: conservators victory in the context of a system crisis
Publication Type:


DOI 10.31857/S086919080020207-4

The thirteenth presidential elections were held in Iran in June 2021. The expected victory was won by a representative of the conservative political bloc – Ibrahim Raisi. He had already run for office in 2017 but then lost to Hassan Rouhani. The election of Raisi updated the discussion on the legitimacy of the authorities in the Islamic Republic and the transparency of electoral procedures. By the decision of the Supervisory Board, five of the seven candidates belonged to the conservative political bloc. In the context of the issue of the successor to the Supreme Leader, the appointment of Ibrahim Raisi as a head of the executive branch could be considered strategic. Raisi has a chance to occupy the highest post in the country, if the scenario of 1989 (when Ali Khamenei, who by that time already had presidential experience, was appointed Supreme Leader of Iran) repeated. Ibrahim Raisi's victory reaffirmed the conservative discourse as the leading one both in Iranian internal political life and in foreign policy. In turn, the current agenda of Iranian conservatism is the consolidation of the divided moderate, traditional, and radical blocs, as well as the development of a single pragmatic political course. The most important tasks facing the new administration of Raisi are to resolve at least some of the many accumulated problems, which are: economic crisis, consequences of the pandemic, worsening environmental situation, power outages, social disunity, growth of protest activity, and the unresolved crisis around the JCPOA on the Iranian nuclear program.

The article was prepared within the project "Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation" supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement № 075-15-2020-783).


Keywords: Iran | political system | domestic politics | conservatism | political identity | political modernization | system crisis |



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