Tehran Residents Voice Expectations Ahead of Presidential Elections

May 17, 2017

TEHRAN, IRAN (Reuters) – With three days to go to the voting day on May 19, Tehran residents expected that the new president could improve employment, livelihood, Iran-U.S. relations, and economic situation.

“Our primary expectation is a solution to the youth unemployment. We hope whoever gets elected, he can pay attention to the youth employment and improve people’s livelihood so that we can live a guaranteed, happy life,” said a Tehran resident.

“I think we should keep trading with the United States like any other country. The United States should not be treated exceptionally. Some officials disagree with this view, but I think to us the United States is not different than any other country. We should keep ties with all countries including the United States,” said another resident.

The United States spats with Iran over the latter’s sensitive nuclear activities. Iran agreed to redesign, convert, and reduce its nuclear facilities in a swap for sanctions lift. The White House says the deal will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran says it has the right to nuclear energy – and stresses that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

“The nuclear deal is very important for us, which allows us to develop our national economy while adhering to our nuclear rights. I hope the next president can carry on this policy,” said a Tehran resident.

According to Iran’s Ministry of Interior, 56.41 million eligible voters across Iran will cast their ballots on Friday to pick a president from incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and another conservative candidate, Ebrahim Raisi.

According to polls, 48 percent of voters support Rouhani while 39 percent vote for Raisi.

Some voters voiced their disappointment about Rouhani because the economic situation has yet to improve in the past four years.

“Honestly speaking, the economic situation was not satisfactory in the past four years. For me, the domestic economic growth matters more than foreign policies. I will vote for the candidate who really cares about economy, employment, and welfare instead of foreign policies only,” said a shop owner.

“Look at those officials who get high salaries, those closed factories, those unemployed youth, and the inflations that never go down. I don’t think he (Rouhani) has honored his promises to bring down the prices of goods. Nothing has changed in the past four years,” said a Tehran resident.