Ahmad Salamatian, a former Iranian MP based in Paris and a critic of the regime, said he believed the elections would pose a bigger challenge to the establishment than three years ago.
"In 2009, the competition was among all political factions working within the framework of the Islamic republic," he said. "But since then, the regime has narrowed its circle more than ever; in other words, with the absence of the opposition, the coming vote is a competition within that already closed circle."
It is unclear how many reformists will stand, as most appear to have decided to boycott the vote...
Analysts believe the regime is trying to present its candidates as reformists. At the same time, leaders have warned they would consider any attempt to encourage an electoral boycott as a crime.>>>
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