Results from today’s presidential election in Iran are expected to be close, and for many people there, not very important.
A number of citizens there aren’t bothering to vote. They say the clerical hardliners still make all the important decisions, and reform is not happening. Others insist that casting a vote is the only way to send a message to the mullahs that people want more democracy.
Some social restrictions have been eased. Candidates have been allowed to hold rallies in public spaces, and play music and enlist girls on roller skates in the effort to distribute their message. But the campaign has also been marred by violence and street protests. Regardless of who wins, observers say one of the key issues at stake is Iran’s nuclear future.
Muhammad Sahimi, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California
Dilip Hiro, author, journalist and commentator on the Middle East
Scott Peterson, reporter for the Christian Science Monitor
Karim Sadjadpour, International Crisis Center.