Saturday 5 June 2021 - 13:01

1st Iranian Presidential Debate to be Held Today

Story Code : 936440
1st Iranian Presidential Debate to be Held Today
The seven contenders will appear on the debate stage at 17:00 local time (1330 GMT) on Saturday, for a three-hour-long face-off on the economy, an issue that has dominated their election campaign events over the past days.

Two more debates are scheduled to be held prior to the presidential election, slated for June 18.

This year, the candidates have been using state media and social medial platforms for campaigning amid strict coronavirus-related health protocols, which have forbidden large gatherings.

Both the five candidates associated with the Principlist camp and the two other Reformists have all singled out economy as the country’s main issue and presented different roadmaps to tackle the hardships affecting the people’s livelihoods.

They have been trying to attract voters on a platform of curbing inflation, unemployment rate, and high housing problems, among other things.

The Iranian economy has been battered by sweeping American sanctions for decades. The restrictive measures have intensified since May 2018, when the US, under the then President Donald Trump, pulled out of a nuclear agreement with Iran, a fruit of years of diplomatic efforts on the global stage.

Following the exit, the US went on a so-called maximum pressure campaign, mainly aimed at blocking Iran’s oil sales and international banking transactions in order to force Iran to negotiate a new deal, under which Iran would give more concessions.

The new American administration has said it was willing to rejoin the deal, but it has so far refused to lift the anti-sanctions, conditioning such a move on a halt in Tehran’s retaliatory measures, a demand Tehran has firmly rejected.

On Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged the presidential candidates against making pledges that they might not be able to fulfill if they win.

The candidates, Ayatollah Khamenei said, should focus their agenda on establishing social justice, fighting corruption, and boosting domestic products in order to enable the country to overcome the economic challenges.