15 May 2009 12:06
Click here to watch video "The Sequel," a clip promoting Tehran Bureau's presidential election coverage. In this video, former President Mohammad Khatami passes the mantle to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On the upcoming presidential elections in Iran:
This is a critical election for Iran. And it's so interesting on a lot of levels. Westerners tend to look at it because of the controversy over President Ahmadinejad, the hardest-line president Iran has had since the revolution. And the mere fact that he's in trouble economically has led to a lot of speculation about whether for the first time you would see a sitting president ousted.
You have an interesting former prime minister emerging to challenge him, a man named Mousavi, who is -- who controlled Iran in the first decade of the revolution. He was the Imam Khomeini's man, and there are lots of interesting speculation about whether others may join the race.
This is the first time you've also seen the two leading candidates who are not clerics. The debate in Iran for many years now has been between the turban versus the hat, the religious clerics versus the lay politicians, and at what point was the Islamic revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran going to be ruled, at least in part, in powerful positions, by people other than the clergy? And for the first time, the two leading candidates are not clerics.