Es’haq Jahangiri is the current First Vice-President of Iran. His candidacy appears to be strategic, with the ultimate aim of increasing the incumbent President Rohani’s chances. When Jahangiri registered for the election, he said his candidacy was intended to deflect some of the criticisms levelled against Rohani and to give him a platform to defend the government’s record.
After the 1979 revolution Jahangiri worked his way up through regional politics to the national level. In the 1990s, under the former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani he was a founding member and secretary general of the Executives of Construction Party, which advocated economic liberalisation in the face of the dominant statist elements of the Islamic Republic. The subsequent president, the reformist Mohammad Khatami, retained Jahangiri as Ministry of Industries.
He was a member of Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s presidential campaign in the disputed 2009 elections, in which Ahmadinejad’s re-election sparked mass protests and led to the house arrest of opposition leaders. He later managed Rafsanjani’s presidential campaign in 2013, stymied when the longtime regime insider was disqualified by the Guardians Council.