The six candidates have started the first presidential debate and explained their plans to prevent residents of villages and small cities from migrating to big cities.
* Here is a brief review of the live presidential debate. The story will be later revised and updated.
Mostafa Aqa Mirsalim was the first candidate to take the podium and talk about his plan to stop the migration of villagers to big cities.
He highlighted the issue of water crisis and stressed that a better management of water resources can lead to the return of those living in marginal areas of big cities to their own towns and villages.
Mostafa Hashemitaba confirmed Mirsalim’s remarks and said Iran is gripped by a very serious environmental crisis and the next president’s priority should be the issue of environment.
Hassan Rouhani referred to the issue of unemployment as a key factor behind the migration of villagers to big cities.
If those who flee to big cities were in their own villages and towns, they could not have a good job or income, Rouhani said.
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf noted that a lack of equal opportunities for Iranian people has exacerbated the flock of villagers to metropolitan areas.
He also said the people living in marginal areas are against equal payment of cash handouts to all Iranian people with different incomes and the government’s failure to increase the amount.
Es’haq Jahangiri referred to the successful moves made by Rouhani’s administration. He said the government has provided these people with insurance, and their children have gained access to education.
Ebrahim Raisi also stressed that establishing property rights and making further investment in industry are key to helping villagers who have flocked to big cities.