Middle East

Iran's Rouhani faces renewed charges as election looms

Rivals of President Hassan Rouhani in the May 19 poll have renewed accusations of corruption and mismanagement against him during the last of three televised debates.

In Friday's debate, Tehran's mayor and presidential candidate Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said that Rouhani and candidate Eshaq Jahangiri received "highly subsidized" properties from the government.

Qalibaf added that Rouhani's administration had facilitated large loans to "particular individuals" through state-run banks while average citizens still struggle to secure small loans.

Hard-line candidate Ebrahim Raisi also accused Rouhani of blocking a corruption probe against his relatives.

Iran's upcoming election is largely a referendum on Rouhani, following Iran's landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Average Iranians have yet to sense the economic benefits of the deal, making Rouhani vulnerable in his bid for another four-year term.