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Originally posted by DenyAllKnowledge
Fairly surprised that this hasn't been covered yet (although if it has feel free to destroy)
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been a dominant figure in Iranian politics since the 1980s.
Described as a "pragmatic conservative", he is part of the religious establishment, but also open to a broader range of views.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was an obscure figure when he was appointed to be mayor of Tehran in the spring of 2003 - and was not much better known when he ran for president of Iran two years later.
But in a result that shocked observers, the hardline conservative came second in the field of seven candidates, setting up a run-off with former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.