Iranian presidential election, 1997
Iranian presidential election of 1997 took place on 23 May 1997, which resulted in an unpredicted win for the reformist candidate Mohammad Khatami. The election was notable not only for the lopsided majority of the winner - 70% - but for the high turnout. 80% of those eligible to vote did so, compared to 50% in the previous presidential election.
The Council of Guardians blocked 234 candidates from running for the presidency because they lacked the religious and political qualifications. Only four candidates were permitted to run for office:
- Mohammad Khatami, Former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
- Mohammad Reyshahri, Former Minister of Intelligence and National Security
- Reza Zavarei, Member of Guardian Council
- Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, Incumbent Speaker of the Parliament of Iran
- Ebrahim Yazdi, secretary-general of Freedom Movement of Iran
- Habibollah Payman, leader of Movement of Militant Muslims
- Ezatollah Sahabi, leading Nationalist-Religious figure
- Azam Taleghani, former member of the Iranian parliament
Declined to run
The candidates were asked about their opinion on the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri said that any "a good Muslim" would carry out the fatwa. Mohammad Khatami avoided the issue. Mohammad Khatami's supporters called Nateq-Nouri the "Taliban" of Iran.
Khatami ran on a platform of political liberalization at home and détente abroad and expressed support for the easing Islamic regulations "from women's dress to whether TV satellite dishes should be allowed."
During the elections, neutrality of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) became a subject of dispute, as the organization was accused of supporting Nateq-Nouri and promoting conservative agenda.
- Salam supported Khatami
- Hamshahri supported Khatami
- Resalat supported Nateq-Nouri
- Kayhan supported Nateq-Nouri
|Party||Candidate||Nohen et al||ISSDP|
|Association of Combatant Clerics||Mohammad Khatami||20,078,187||69.07||20,138,784||69.1|
|Combatant Clergy Association||Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri||7,242,859||24.91||7,248,317||24.87|
|Association for Defence of Revolution Values||Mohammad Reyshahri||742,598||2.55||744,205||2.65|
|Blank or invalid votes||240,996||0.93||241,732||0.83|
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