RFE/RL’s Iranian Election Countdown

RFERllogoAs Iranians count down to Friday’s presidential elections, RFE/RL and Radio Farda are rolling out singular coverage drawing on direct reporting in and from Iran, before, during and after the polls close.

*** On Friday June 14, Correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari will live-blog the latest news about the election throughout the day on RFE/RL’s special “Iranian Election 2013” website.***

Esfandiari speaks to three prominent Middle East experts — former U.S. diplomats Dennis Ross and Ryan Crocker, and former State Department adviser Vali Nasr — who weigh in on the effectiveness of sanctions, the end goal of nuclear negotiations, and the possible benefits of taking a more diplomatic approach toward Tehran.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Said Jalili, has been described by some as the Iranian establishment’s candidate of choice in the upcoming presidential election. Esfandiari reports that others say this may not necessarily be accurate.

There’s fluidity among candidates only days before the vote, as Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel withdraws his candidacy and Hassan Rohani seems poised to get the reform vote. But, asks correspondent Charles Recknagel, can he win?

In an exclusive interview with Esfandiari, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman explains why the outcome of the vote — which the U.S. has said is not free, fair, or credible by international standards — means an uncertain future for Iran.

In her “Persian Letters” blog, Esfandiari looks at regime efforts not only to stifle the independent press, but to censor conservative blogs and news websites, too.

In this audio soundslide, Radio Farda’s Kayvan Hosseini discusses the election’s overarching themes and how it differs from the 2009 polls.

Correspondent Frud Bezhan’s incisive primer offers a rundown on the main players and issues, and web editor Denise Ajiri has a website dedicated to Iranian elections past and present.

RFE/RL will continue to provide news at it unfolds with streaming tidbits and sound bites from the campaign trail in cities all over the Iran.

Follow Esfandiari, Ajiri, Bezhan and Hosseini on Twitter and the latest news from Radio Farda online and on Twitter.

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