Enter the Front Runner

Former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani decided to "swallow the bitter pill," as he put it, and become a candidate in Iran's presidential vote scheduled for June 17. "The Commander of Construction," as supporters call him because his policies kick-started the devastated Iranian economy after the Iran-Iraq war, ended months of speculation by publishing a manifesto; it promises to rein in extremism within the country, attract international confidence, support gender equality and spur economic growth.

The wily Rafsanjani, 70, is seen as a consensus builder, giving him an advantage over other top candidates such as former police...

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