Pezeshkian: On the Issues

The following are statements by Masoud Pezeshkian during the seven presidential debates and immediately after his victory in the July 5 runoff. 

Masoud Pezeshkian


On the Role of Government

“When we ignore people's rights and do not want to listen to their voices, expecting them to come to the polls is not a reasonable expectation.”

“We must treat people with justice and fairness. Otherwise, it is impossible to continue. A country can survive with disbelief, but not with injustice.” 

“When 60 percent of the people do not come to vote, we should feel that there is something wrong. There is a shortcoming.” 

“The problem has to do, partly, with women in our society who are not engaged by us, maybe some ethnic groups that are not engaged by us.” (July 1, 2024)


On Freedoms & Corruption

“I consider accountability and freedom of expression essential for a transparent and accountable government, free from corruption.” (June 25, 2024)

“Ninety-nine percent of our managers currently don't even know what the program or law is. Some ministers themselves are not informed at all.” (July 1, 2024)

“The reason for the current situation is incompetent, inexperienced and unqualified managers.” 

“What we can currently do domestically, without lifting sanctions, is to focus on energy inefficiencies, currency management, and management.” (July 2, 2024)


On the Hijab & the Role of Women

“Women should be in a position where they can play a constructive role.”

“There is no difference between men and women in ideological terms. Our women can also occupy the same positions as our men.”

“We are against any coercion or harsh treatment towards anyone, let alone women.”

“Behavior won’t change with laws. Just as they couldn't forcibly remove hijab from Iranian women before, we will not be able to impose hijab on them forcefully.” (June 21, 2024)

“Every day, we are losing public backing because of how we treat women, because of how we treat the internet because of our filtering. Because of our conduct, people are dissatisfied with us.” (July 1, 2024)


On Foreign Policy

“In the region, we can be the transit route from East to West and bring most advantages. Why couldn't we achieve this? Because we are in conflict both among ourselves and with our neighbors.”

“We will secure our share of the market through dialogue with neighbors and unity and cohesion at home.” (June 24, 2024)

“If we want to grow in the world, the more connections we make, the better we can live.”

“We should start with our neighbors and then move forward as much as we can.” (July 1, 2024)


On the Nuclear Deal & U.S. sanctions

“It's impossible to have a proper trading partner in the world with these sanctions.”

“No country has had economic growth without export growth since World War II.”

“Buying second-hand foreign cars has become an honor for us.” (June 17, 2024)

“I have come to rescue the people from the hardships of sanctions.” (June 25, 2024)

“If we have no other option (but to remain under U.S. sanctions), the existing option (is that countries) will buy from us cheaply and sell to us at a high price, and we cannot do anything about it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "was doing everything to prevent the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or 2015 nuclear deal) from being implemented. We also fought internally to prevent the JCPOA. When you make a deal and negotiate, you give something and get something in return.” 

"I consider sanctions a serious detriment (to the country). My foreign policy aims to normalize relations with the world. I support the implementation of FATF and JCPOA." (July 1, 2024)

“A weak leader is someone who negotiates but ends up with Iran's case (about its nuclear program) being referred to the U.N. Security Council.” 

“It is not the case that if the U.S. does not fulfill its commitments, we will still fulfill ours. I will not enter into negotiations (about the JCPOA) with just one option.” 

“Amid sanctions, prices inevitably rise, and we cannot make purchases, leaving the government to dip into people's pockets.” (July 2, 2024)


On the Military

“The defensive and deterrent power that the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the Iranian Army have built is a source of pride for our country.”

“One of the reasons others (enemies) cannot act against us is precisely the capability of our drones and missiles.” (June 24, 2024)

"I consider him (the late General Qassem Soleimani) a source of national pride and a thorn in the eyes of our enemies.”

“General Soleimani was a hero who fought against oppression abroad and was a supporter of the oppressed at home, regardless of whether they wore hijab or not, or whether they were religious or not.”

“The primary issue is the perspective: do we want to solve our problems with the world or not? I believe we must get out of the deadlock to solve the country's problems.” (July 2, 2024)


On Israel & Iran's militia allies

"The Islamic Republic has always supported the resistance of the people of the region against the illegitimate Zionist regime."

"I am certain that the resistance movements in the region will not allow this regime to continue its warmongering and criminal policies against the oppressed people of Palestine and other nations of the region." (July 8, 2024) 

“God willing, we will try to have friendly relations with all countries except Israel.” (June 28, 2024)

On the Economy

“The country is not to be run through conflict and disputes. I support social justice, not populist slogans. I will place the government's treasury in a completely transparent place.”

“If management is improved, cost issues will also be improved.”

“Economic issues won't be solved with slogans. It can be done only with expert work and using the experience of the world. Brains are fleeing and funds are also fleeing.” (June 17, 2024)

“Currently, our highest rate of unemployment is among university graduates. This is due to our lack of precise policymaking in line with societal needs.” (June 20, 2024)

“In principle, the government shouldn't intervene in prices and dictate what to do with production.”

“Government intervention brings disaster to the stock market, the market, and producers.”

“We need to improve the living conditions of teachers, police officers, workers, etc., so they can have a good life. This requires addressing the money wasted by the government, which we can stop.” (June 25, 2024)

“What we are doing regarding the stock market is to restore stability and security to it. We won't compensate for the government's budget deficit from the stock market.” (July 2, 2024)

“Our main problem in the country is this division. When a government is in power, *FATF is opposed, but when the next government takes over, it supports it.” (July 1, 2024)

*FATF, an intergovernmental body of 38 member countries that sets standards for countering the financing of terrorism and money laundering, has repeatedly cited Iran’s failure to comply with international norms. Since 2020, FATF has called on member states to apply enhanced due diligence measures on transactions involving Iran, such as by closing subsidiaries of Iranian banks or limiting broader business relationships.


On Reducing Inflation

“Governments are the main cause of inflation. Expanding the [size of] government is the most important cause of inflation. We must use the experience of other countries [in resolving economic issues].”

“Inflation means emptying people’s pockets. People sleep at night, and in the morning, they find their purchasing power has decreased.”

“The inflation rate is at 40 percent, while wages increase by 20 percent.” (June 17, 2024)

“The main cause of inflation is the government, but then they blame producers and shopkeepers for it.” (June 25, 2024)


On Censorship

“What's the need to filter the internet? We should set it free. Twitter is a place for education, and we can teach many things through it.” 

“The government should refrain from interference (in art and culture) and should be the policymaker and overseer of programs.”

“Government should not manage culture. This work belongs to seminaries, mosques, schools, and universities.”

“The process of obtaining permits needs to be revised so that films can participate in international festivals.” (June 21, 2024)

“The entire world imposes internet restrictions during special times, but not during normal times.”

“Today people spend more money on VPNs (virtual private networks) than on the internet itself, and these VPNs don't have the same restrictions or controls.”

“You cannot say we want to live in a cage and have no connection with the world.

“Many people lost their businesses due to (government) actions taken in cyberspace.” (July 1, 2024)


On Diversity and Minorities

“Iran is a vast country with cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity, and I have come to respect this diversity.” (June 25, 2024)

“We need to have all the ethnic groups involved (in the government), all the faiths involved.” (July 1, 2024)


On Disadvantaged Iranians

“Any government intervention should benefit the disadvantaged. The laws exist but the problem is we don't implement them.” (June 25, 2024)

“It's natural not to give subsidies to me and people who ride in luxurious cars. They should take from the wealthy and give to the deprived.” 

“We need to assess the situation we are facing. Currently, there's no plan; everyone is receiving subsidies.”

“We need to determine who should receive subsidies and who shouldn't.” (July 2, 2024)


Related Material:

Pezeshkian: Implications of Win

Pezeshkian: Profile of President-elect

Pezeshkian: World Reaction