What are the key differences between the policies of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi?

Mousavi is a reformist whilst Ahmadinejad is a conservative.

Ahmadinejad’s policies will be a continuation of his previous four years as President — that is maintaining the status quo — whereas Mousavi wants to make several big reforms including:

  • The creation of a transparent Iranian government including issues around budget spending.
  • The privatisation of many government owned business including Iranian television networks, which means a change to the Iranian constitution.
  • The disbanding of the ‘Morality Police’ and giving more rights to women regarding financial independence and removing the ‘glass ceiling’.
  • The institutionalising of social justice.
  • Increased freedom of expression.
  • The rooting out of corruption within the government.
  • Transferring control of all the law enforcement forces to the President from the Supreme Leader.

Another important point of difference between the two men is that Mousavi has condemned the killing of the Jews in the Holocaust and denounced Ahmadinejad for his October 2005 speech at the World Without Zionism Conference.

There are two things that both men agree upon though that is often over-looked. The first is that they both support Iran’s right to have nuclear power and both maintain that it is for peaceful purposes. The second is that both men are open to negotiating with the United States, which is a significant departure from previous Iranian leaders.

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Peter Fray

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