CBRN Assessment

Election of 'revolutionary' candidate would call into question Iran's commitment to nuclear agreement and increases war risks

04 May 2017

Key Points

  • The election is increasingly defined by Iran's revolutionaries as having existential significance for Iran's system of governance and policy direction, and uniting Iran's ascendant power centres against incumbent president Hassan Rouhani.
  • Should the revolutionaries unite behind a single candidate, as is increasingly likely, this would significantly undermine Rouhani's re-election bid.
  • The potential election of a revolutionary candidate would indicate reduced policy flexibility, lower commitment to JCPOA's survival, and higher risk of interstate war due to Iranian miscalculation of a US response to Iranian provocation, and the level of support in Washington for military action against Iran.


The outcome of Iran's upcoming 19 May presidential election will have an impact on the longevity of the nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA), US sanctions-related risks, and interstate war risks.

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