Iran votes to find Ahmanidejad’s successor

Dubai: Iranians began voting on Friday in a presidential election
World powers embroiled in talks with Iran over its nuclear programme are looking for signs of a recalibration of its negotiating position after eight years of intransigence under fiery populist Ahmadinejad.

Of those, three main conservative hopefuls only one, current chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, advocates maintaining Iran’s robust, ideologically-driven foreign policy.

The other two, Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, have pledged never to back away from pursuing Iran’s nuclear programme but have strongly criticized Jalili’s inflexible negotiating stance.

They face a single moderate candidate, the only cleric in the race, Hassan Rohani. Though very much an establishment figure, suspicious of the West, Rohani is more likely to pursue a conciliatory foreign policy.

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