As Iran gets ready to vote in next week’s presidential elections, concerns about the fairness of the election process and the future of Iran have been raised by leaders around the world.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at Washington-based think tank the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, tells Kayhan Life in this podcast interview, that the elections are neither free nor fair, and that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s extraordinary involvement with the election process is part of a broader strategy to ensure the survival of the regime’s revolutionary ideology.

“When you look at what’s been happening, particularly since 2009, and given Khamenei’s willingness to continue to contract the political system and move it further and further to the hard right so as to get a loyal second generation of revolutionaries to enshrine his legacy, they’ve lost a lot of people,” Taleblu explains.

Taleblu also discusses the presidential candidates; and how issues like the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s international trade, and the country’s human rights record might be affected by the election outcome.

Kayhan Life Podcasts