The Least Bad Option

Farzaneh Khademian / ABACA

Whoever wins the presidency will bow to Ayatullah Khamenei, whose portrait dominates a wall at the Interior Ministry

The Iranian presidential election, scheduled for June 14, is increasingly being viewed by outside observers as a choice between one fairly colorless candidate entirely subordinate to the Supreme Leader, and one or two other fairly colorless candidates, slightly less hard-line, but also completely subordinate to the wishes of the Supreme Leader. Why pay attention to such an election at all, and what does it matter who wins?

We know one thing for certain about contemporary Iranian politics: there is only one man in the Islamic Republic whose decisions matter when it comes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!