The Other Contest: Who Will Be Iran's Next President?

Less than six months after the next American president takes office, Iran will hold its own Election Day. To win that race takes not only popular acclaim but the approval of one man—Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—and so far, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has the edge. For all his economic and diplomatic bungling, Ahmadinejad is still liked by Iran's poor: he stands up to the West; he knows how to talk to ordinary folk, and he's never been accused of personal corruption. Fat oil revenues help, too. Most important, he's no threat to Khamenei. Here's a look at other contenders.

Ali Larijani: Speaker of Majlis (Parliament). Khamenei likes him, but his ego puts others off.

Gholam Ali Haddad Adel: Supreme Leader's in-law and friend, not independent enough for some voters.

Mohammad Khatami: Reformist ex-president, widely seen as hopelessly wishy-washy.

Mehdi Karrubi: Tougher than Khatami, but equally poor odds. Reformists like him scare Khatami.

Mohammad Jafar Ghalibaf: War-hero mayor of Tehran has been running since 2005. Watch him.

The Other Contest: Who Will Be Iran's Next President? | Culture