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Who Will Be Iran's Face to the World?

May 3, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and President Hassan Rouhani (R) could become rivals in Iran's approaching presidential election.
(ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. Supreme Court decision that could block Tehran from accessing $2 billion worth of frozen Iranian-owned U.S. securities has provided rich fodder for sparring between hard-line and pragmatic conservatives in Iran, most notably Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The central bank chief, Iran's vice president, and the director general for political affairs in Iran's Foreign Ministry have all blamed "negligent" decisions made under Ahmadinejad's presidency for leaving the funds in European banks, which allowed them to be snatched up by the United States when sanctions increased. For his part, Ahmadinejad and other hard-line conservatives have blamed Rouhani's weaknesses in nuclear negotiations for allowing the United States to financially threaten the Islamic Republic. Since Iran has yet to recover from its economic stupor incurred under international sanctions, each political decision involving the economy will fall under greater public scrutiny leading up to elections. ...

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