Home west asia Iran’s New President Being Labelled As Reformer Is Misleading: Seyed Marandi

Iran’s New President Being Labelled As Reformer Is Misleading: Seyed Marandi


Iran’s new president Masoud Pezeshkian, is seen as a reformer in the Western media, while former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili whom he defeated, is seen as a hardliner.  But do such labels actually represent who these people are?

In this conversation on The Gist, Seyed Marandi, professor at Tehran University, says these labels are misleading and are generally reflective of how the West sees them.  Pezeshkian, for instance, may have reformist inclinations but remains a strong supporter of the clerical regime.  That includes hijab for women.

Iran’s new president Pezeshkian was not allowed to contest some years ago but was found suitable this time round. Does that suggest the result of this election was pre-ordained?  Marandi says no. Whether it was Pezeshkian or Jalili, both had to campaign hard, they debated and the former was able to pull through.

Marandi does not believe Iran is isolated any longer. Ties with China and Russia are robust, Tehran is now joining the SCO and the country has been able to weather the worst impact of sanctions.

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He does not believe the nuclear deal will move forward given the entrenched position of Republicans and Democrats in the US.  That will not change even after the US elects a new president in November.

But Iran is committed to not having nuclear weapons, he underscored.

On Israel he warned that the Jewish state is committing genocide in Gaza.  He also warned against moves in Tel Aviv to start a new military campaign this time, against Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Israel, he said, cannot win. Hezbollah is a strong force and will not succumb.

A word about India.  Relations have been moving forward despite sanctions and India is committed to expanding its investment and commitment to Chahbahar port.  The clerical leadership in Tehran has a positive view of India and this will be built upon by Pezeshkian.