A Rutgers professor of planning and public policy is running for president of Iran. Hooshang Amirahmadi doesn’t sound like the typical Iranian politician; his campaign’s website focuses on economic development, fighting inflation, promoting women’s rights, and curbing pollution. His resume doesn’t read like Ahmadinejad’s, either. He received a Master’s in management from University of Dallas and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and in 1983 he began working at Rutgers University as a professor of planning and public policy; in addition, he is the director of the Rutgers Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
The professor is currently on sabbatical, so he can actually campaign.
Amirahmadi also attempted to run in Iran’s 2005 presidential election, but Iran’s Council of Guardians prevented his candidacy from taking off. He is not only confident that the Council of Guardians will allow him to run this time, but that he will win the election. “If I get approved, I will be elected,” he promises. “No question whatsoever, no problem. They will vote for me.”
The chances of that happening, according to one of Amirahmadi’s colleagues, are slim.