Iran’s state TV and Radio broadcaster IRIB will air live political debates on presidential election starting Monday evening 20:35 local time.
Mr. Morteza Heidari the anchor will host the debates he had been hosting in 2013 presidential debates which turned out to be a success despite the tough nature of the debates which edged with personal attacks by some of the candidates by histrionics intended to steel the public’s vote. 2009 presidential debate, with all the fuss and the excitement, were believed to be a little too much extreme by conservative views dominant in the Iranian political culture which favored moderation and respecting traditional values of decency and humility and rejected western-style open criticism and outspokenness.
IRIB’s Channel One will host the debates. The producer Mohsen Rafiei told the press that the live airing will continue every night up to April 27 when candidates will officially launch their campaign. Debates will focus on politics, economics, and social pressing issues. The composition of analysts will be mixed; with no candidate still finalized, economic and political observers will discuss success and/or failure of the current government, with critics sitting with proponents of the government policies; for the first program, a government critic, Mohammad Kohandel will have Morteza Ezzati, a macroeconomic expert and government proponent in a controversial debate of post-JCPOA economic policies.
No less important will be among the subject matter, urban pollution, Mehr Housing Scheme, Airplane deals, drought and environmental hazards, political crime, Article 44 of the Constitution and the fate of privatization, fighting corruption, and a host of other issues.
Presidential debates have been quite a novelty in Iran’s political environment where candidates had not been accustomed to the publicity politicians in the western democracies have; more traditional ways are still popular and candidates prefer in-person meetings where they also bask in the adulation of crowds of their fans. With all restrictions and red-lines, IRIB presidential debates had done much in revealing to a definite extend the plans and the character of the candidates.