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MANILA, Philippines - A potential Iranian presidential candidate went on Reddit to drum up interest in Iran's upcoming presidential elections, answering questions from interested Redditors around the world.
As of this writing, the potential candidate, Dr Hooshang Amirahmadi, has been answering questions for 3 hours. These questions have ranged from his stand on various political issues and to queries about his favorite ice cream flavor.
Amirahmadi himself explains on the thread that while public campaigning isn't allowed in Iran until the Guardian Council approves their candidacy in late May, there isn't anything against garnering international eyes on an Iranian presidential campaign.
He adds in another comment, "My point is that this campaign is a truly international campaign that is trying to bring in the global community behind a set of peaceful ideas and prescriptions for legal reform."
Amirahmadi's appearance on social media paints a stark contrast to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's lack of visibility online, and the presidential bet's statements on his belief in free speech paint a different picture to the seeming deterioration of free speech rights in Ahmadinejad's time as president.
Amirahmadi's website lists him as a "scholar, academic administrator, and as an activist in international conflict resolution and peace building, especially between Iran and the United States." He has a PhD in planning and international development from Cornell University, and is a professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Previously, Reddit was the site of another notable "Ask Me Anything" discussion thread. Prior to the 2012 US elections, President Barack Obama went on the site to engage Redditors and get them to go to the polls. - Rappler.com
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