If things go according to the law as it currently stands, Iran should be getting a new president later in the year as current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s last term comes to an end in August.
One hopeful candidate Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, whose campaign has garnered a lot of media attention outside of Iran, recently signed up to Reddit to host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session.
Amirahmadi was born in Iran but moved to America in 1975 during the unrest that preceded the 1979 Iranian Revolution. A highly educated man, Amirahmadi has degrees from Cornell and Dallas Universities and is currently a professor and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University.
He has travelled back to Iran several times over the last few years and is a prominent figure in the American-Iranian relations.
During the course of the Reddit AMA Amirahmadi affirmed that he was a candidate who stood for peace and understanding, all the while trying to play down concerns that the time he had spent in the U.S would make him unpopular with the electorate.
“The biggest problem for Iran is a lack of trust between the US Iran. I have lived 40 years in the US, I understand both cultures and languages. I can easily build trust between the two countries. particularly because I have never been part of the problem between the US and Iran. I have tried to be part of the solution for 25 years.”
But Amirahmadi said he felt that most Iranians were “smart enough and fair enough” not to dismiss him as a presidential candidate without giving him a chance to prove himself. He affirmed that “maintained consistent principles” and said “I fight for what I believe in; not for any intelligence agency!”
He also accused his completion of being part of the problem rather than the solution, arguing that he was a “bridge builder” and that his competitors were too busy fighting against one another instead of working for the good of the country.
Amirahmadi said that if elected his administration would strive for freedom of speech, “including social media.” This statement is especially important because the Iranian government currently has firm controls over the media and internet use in the country.
When asked why an Iranian presidential candidate decided to do an AMA on Reddit, a site based in the U.S with primarily Western users, Amirahmadi replied that he was doing it for international attention. He said; “I don’t think that talking to Redditors will hurt my chances in any way. It can only help by driving more global attention to my candidacy.”
You can read Amirahmadi’s full Reddit AMA here.