WANA (July 04) – Iran’s snap presidential election runoff has reached its final episode and the two candidates have done heated debates. The Reformist candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian has spared no effort to persuade Iranians to vote for him.


Pezeshkian and his team have shown that they play classic propaganda techniques to persuade undecided voters in their favor. They try to display themselves as the angels fighting the evils who want to destroy Iran in its entirety.


Ad hominem, Ad nauseam, appealing to fear, band wagoning, cherry picking the truce, portraying themselves as plain folks, misinformation and disinformation campaigns, Exaggeration, stereotyping, name calling and… These are parts of techniques used by the Reformist camp against Jalili and each has a clear example of usage.


We should not fight

Since the first day of Pezeshkian campaigning he have said that the reason for Iran’s current situation is infighting between various political factions regarding foreign policy.


Pezeshkian believes that the reason for the “low economic progress” are “people who benefit from anti-Iran sanctions”. His campaigning team have accused Jalili of having the support of “sanctions mafia”.


This technique has been used by former president Hassan Rouhani during his election campaign and presidency. Rouhani’s government bounded every aspect of Iranian life to sanctions removal. He bet heavily on relations with the West and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the 2015 nuclear agreement.


There were numerous warnings from Iranians about the errors in the agreement and yet Rouhani’s government kept implementing it even after U.S. withdrawal.

Masoud Pezeshkian, candidate of the reformists for the presidential race of Iran. July 2024. Photo from Saeed Jalili's office / WANA News Agency

Masoud Pezeshkian, candidate of the reformists for the presidential race of Iran. July 2024. Photo from Saeed Jalili’s office / WANA News Agency

Before U.S. withdrawal from the deal Rouhani’s administration preached impossibility of the withdrawal. They emphasized on the “openings” that JCPOA will bring to the country however when it failed, they started blaming different political factions for its failure.


Now, Pezeshkian talks about the “cage” that Iran is currently in and to be free from this the country should start negotiations with the West.


Jalili and his core ideas regarding foreign policy revolves around what he calls “honorable diplomacy”. Accusing Jalili of building walls around the country is not based on reality. Jalili has talked about alternatives to relations with the collective West.


In his eyes Iran can progress by diversifying trade partners and working with the Global South. Jalili has praised the approach by late Iran president Raisi in joining the BRICS group of nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


Jalili can’t even manage a store

The Reformist campaigners repeatedly said that Jalili has no experience in management and is not fit to be a president. They even downplay his role in foreign policy and say he was just a pawn in Iran’s foreign policy.


These claims seem to misrepresent Jalili’s resume, the former nuclear negotiator formed a group to monitor and advice sitting presidents on important issues.


Jalili’s “shadow government” consists of hundreds of experts in different fields who have done research on various issues since the group’s creation more than 11 years ago. Jalili has presented written strategy to manage the country in contrast to Pezeshkian who has not yet provided any to the public.


The effectiveness of the plan and its operationality can be discussed by experts but Pezeshkian and his team continue their blame game instead of challenging plans and ideas.

A poster of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili is seen on a street in Tehran

A poster of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili is seen on a street in Tehran, Iran, June 29, 2024. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)

 Jalili= Taliban

Pezeshkian and his team have accused Saeed Jalili of having beliefs similar to Taliban in case of social freedoms and women’s rights. However, Jalili has time and again put social presence of women his top priority in debates and said “the glorious role of Iranian women in various fields should not be censored”.


In Jalili’s view “the Islamic Republic has brought women to the forefront of the society and presented a model showcasing a Muslim woman as an entrepreneur, scientist”.


By WANA writer