Scholarly article on topic 'A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Electoral Talks of Iranian Presidential Candidates in 2013'

A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Electoral Talks of Iranian Presidential Candidates in 2013 Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Habib Gowhary, Farahnaz Rahimi, Akbar Azizifar, Ali Jamalinesari

Abstract On Friday, 14 June 2013 one of the most significant events of Iran and the Middle East happened: the presidential election of Iran. The 11th president of Iran started his term on 3rd August 2013. The election was in fact a competition between two main parties: Principlist and Reformist. This paper studied the speeches of the nominees of these two parties: Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Hassan Ruhani. We selected one of their speeches on their election campaigns and incorporated their statements and stances in the framework of CDA introduced by Norman Fairclough. The results showed that the two nominees took two opposite strands on the same events. They used language as a means of promoting their own social, political, personal interests and as an effective means for power struggle.

Academic research paper on topic "A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Electoral Talks of Iranian Presidential Candidates in 2013"


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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 192 (2015) 132 - 141

2nd GLOBAL CONFERENCE on LINGUISTICS and FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING, LINELT-2014, Dubai - United Arab Emirates, December 11 - 13, 2014

A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Electoral Talks of Iranian Presidential Candidates in 2013

Habib Gowhary a *, Farahnaz Rahimi a, Akbar Azizifara, Ali Jamalinesari b

aDepartment of English Language Teaching, Islamic Azad University, Ilam Branch, Ilam, Iran bDepartment of English Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University, Ilam Branch, Ilam, Iran


On Friday, 14 June 2013 one of the most significant events of Iran and the Middle East happened: the presidential election of Iran. The 11th president of Iran started his term on 3rd August 2013. The election was in fact a competition between two main parties: Principlist and Reformist. This paper studied the speeches of the nominees of these two parties: Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Hassan Ruhani. We selected one of their speeches on their election campaigns and incorporated their statements and stances in the framework of CDA introduced by Norman Fairclough. The results showed that the two nominees took two opposite strands on the same events. They used language as a means of promoting their own social, political, personal interests and as an effective means for power struggle.

© 2015PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.Thisisanopenaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Research and Education Center.

Keywords: electoral talk, language, Iran._

1. Introduction

Various scholars and prominent figures active in the field have thus far put forward different but overlapping definitions for the concept of discourse. According to Fairclough (1989) discourse is building block constructing the social identities, knowledge systems and beliefs of the individuals. Wodak" draw (2002) is a line between '' discourse" and'' text''. He views discourse as a system of knowledge and memory, as compared to text which merely represents tangible oral utterances or written documents. Within the same realm, Van Dijk (1988) believes that discourse is not basically an isolated textual or dialogical structure. But it is a complex communicative event that also represents a social situation, containing participants and their belongings.

* Habib Gowhary Tel.: +7213234234 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Research and Education Center. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.020

Fairclough (1992) highlighting the strong connection between discourse and society, maintains that, On one hand, discourse is formed and constrained by social structure in the widest sense and at all levels: by class and other social relations at a societal level by the relations specific to particular institutions such as law or education, by systems of taxonomy, by various standards and conventions of both a discursive and a non-discursive nature, and so forth. He finally concludes that discourse is a practice not just of representing the world, but of signifying the world, constituting and constructing the world through the social practice of verbal contact.

Recognizing such representations of the socio-cultural together with ideological factors in discourse has been the subject of various studies by many discourse researchers. (Wodak, 1989; Fairclough, 1992, 1995; Van Dijk, 1993, 1998; Chouliaraki, 2000)

The immense body of research thus far directed on discourse of various institutions and figures has as its center scrupulous attention paid to societal context, and power relations within which the discourse take place. And along the same manners, in the case of this issue of studying discourse in relation to society and power, there are different approaches and tools for this goal, which are inclusively recognized as the interdisciplinary business of critical discourse analysis or CDA, and it is the main theoretical and analytical framework in nearly any critical study of the relationships between discourse, society, and power.

Since CDA sees discourse as both produced and formed by ideology, it emphasizes the necessary linguistic characteristics of social relationships, social structures, and the power dispersed among them. Van Dijk (1998) explains this point when he indicates that CDA observes the way in which powerful institutions and media in society influence social beliefs and values, and form ideologies, through the standards they set for what is and is not adequate, therefore illuminating the power inequality in discourse in order to examine how they are entrenched in cultural forms of life, which they co-constitute. Through its well-founded principles to analyze discursive practices fixed within text and ideology, discourse has come to be a popular analytical discipline concerning discriminations in race, ethnicity, and culture reflected in media (Lecouteur, 2008). An ideological viewpoint held upon a specific issue on the part of the media surely is a topic of great interest to be investigated whose results and findings may produce valuable considerations into the realms of discourse, media, and society.

By the same vein, this descriptive-analytic study tries to find to investigate the electoral speeches of a couple of candidates of Iranian presidential election in 2013 and their ideological predisposition toward the country and the world. In this study Fairclough's three-dimensional analytical framework is used as the approach to the media discourse analysis the framework. The focus has been on low-level issues such as interaction, interpretation and reproduction by analyzing lexical selection, genre selection, and picture selection as well as the main issues such as access, power, ideology which are concealed in the text.

2. Literature review

2.1. Brief introduction on CDA (Critical Discourse Analysis)

"Critical discourse analysis (CDA) developed in the late 1980s as a pragmatic development in European discourse studies directed by Norman Fairclough, Ruth Wodak, Teun van Dijk, and others" (Blommaert and Bulcaen, 2000, p.447). It is rooted in critical theory of language, which sees the use of language as a form of social practice (Fairclough, 1997) and views the context of language use crucial (Wodak, 2000c; Benke, 2000). "The term CDA is used nowadays to refer more specifically to the critical linguistic approach of scholars who find the larger discursive unit of text to be the basic unit of communication" (Wodak, 2001, p.6). In general, "it is a study of the relations between discourse, power, dominance, social inequality and the position of the discourse analyst in such social relationships." (Van Djik, 1993, p. 283) "The notions of ideology, power, hierarchy and gender together with sociological variables were all seen as relevant for an interpretation or explanation of text" (Van Djik, 1993, p. 283).

2.2. The issues of access, power and ideology in CDA

As CDA primarily refers to language and social relations, the issues such as language and access, language and power as well as language and ideology are noticeable when adopting CDA practices.

2.3. Language and Access

According to Van Djik (2002), "language users or communicators have more or less freedom in the use of special discourse genres or styles, or in the participation in specific communicative events and contexts." (p.256) The participant of any kind of discourse may have more or less active or passive access to communicative events, such as the writing to or speaking to the professors, boss and etc. Likewise, participants might have more or less control over their participation in the discourse activity, such as the planning, setting, organization, register, genre, topic, or structure of their oral or written discourse. (Van Dijk, 2002) In the realm of media discourse, "the access of minorities to the mass media is a critical condition for their participation in the public definition of their situation." (Van Djik, 1993, p.92) As a result of the social and economic conditions, many of them do not have the ability to get access to the mass media particularly computer and Television.

2.4. Language and Power

"Power is about relations of difference and particularly about the effects of differences in social structures" (Wodak, 2001, p.11). When power is associated to language, "language is entwined in social power in a number of ways: language indexes power, expresses power, is involved where there is contention over and a challenge to power" (Wodak, 2001, p.11). In social relations, language and power are closely connected to each other. "Power does not derive from language, but language can be used to challenge power, to subvert it, to alter distributions of power in the short and long term. Language provides articulated means for differences in power in social hierarchical structures". (Wodak, 2001, p.11) Thus Analysis of language is a valuable instrument to inspect the power relation such as dominance and inequality in media discourses.

2.5. Language and ideology

"The concept of "ideology" is presented -involving cognitive and social psychology, sociology and discourse analysis". (Van Djik, 2004, p.4) Ideology is a set of belief systems including a person's beliefs, values, goals and anticipations. Van Djik (2004) discussed it more by stating: "The cognitive definition of ideology is given in terms of the social cognitions that are shared by the members of a group. The social dimension explains what kind of groups; relations between groups and institutions are involved in the development and reproduction of ideologies" (p.4). "The discourse dimension of ideologies explains how ideologies influence our daily texts and talk, how we understand ideological discourse, and how discourse is involved in the reproduction of ideology in society" (Van Djik, 2004, p.4).

3. Methodology of CDA

3.1. Fairclough 's three-dimensional model

Fairclough, recognized as one of the most prominent scholars in contributing to the CDA development, grasps a more social-theoretical opinion towards doing analysis. Consistent with Fairclough, the model for CDA consists of "three inter-related processes of analysis tied to three inter-related dimensions of discourse." (Rogers, Berkes, Mosley, Hui, and Josep, 2005, p.371) These three dimensions of discourses are: (1) the object of analysis (text, description of formal prosperities of the text, including verbal, visual or verbal and visual texts) or, (2) the processes by which the object is shaped and received (writing/ speaking/ designing and reading/ listening/ viewing) by human subjects i.e. interpretation of discursive practice or relationship between text and interaction), and sociocultural practice (explanation: social determination of the processes of production and interpretation and their social effects).

According to Fairclough each of these purposes requires a different kind of analysis: (1) text analysis (description); (2) processing analysis (interpretation); (3) social analysis (explanation). This approach assists the analyst to focus on the important elements that make up the text, the specific linguistic choices, their association, and sequencing their design. (Janks, 2001: 27)

3.2. Introduction on Fairclough's three-dimensional analytical work

According to Fairclough, the first level of the framework is textual-analysis which comprises "the study of the different processes, or types of verbs, involved in the interaction; study on the meanings of the social relations established between participants in the interaction; analysis of the mood (whether a sentence is a statement, question, or declaration) and modality (the degree of assertiveness in the exchange)."(Rogers, Berkes, Mosley, Hui, and Josep, 2005, p.371). Fairclough's second dimension, processing analysis, involves "analysis of the process of production, interpretation, distribution, and consumption. This aspect is concerned with how people interpret and reproduce or transform texts." (Rogers, Berkes, Mosley, Hui, and Josep, 2005, p.371) The third dimension -social analysis "concerned with issues of power—power being a construct that is realized through interdiscursivity and hegemony. Analysis of this dimension includes exploration of the ways in which discourses operate in various domains of society." (Rogers, Berkes, Mosley, Hui, and Josep, 2005, p.371) In short, the analysis of the text involves the study of the language structures produced in a discursive event. An analysis of the discursive practice involves examining the production, consumption, and reproduction of the texts. The analysis of sociocultural practice includes an exploration of what is happening in a particular sociocultural framework." (Rogers, Berkes, Mosley, Hui, and Josep, 2005, p.37) The purpose why we have adopted Fairlough's approach to CDA is that it provides multiple points of analysis entries. It does not matter which kind of analysis one begins with, providing that they are all encompassed and are shown to be mutually explanatory. It is in the interconnections that the analyst catches remarkable patterns and disjunctions that need to be described, interpreted and explained.

Figure 1- Faiclough's Model for CDA adapted from Janks (2002:27)

4. Selected Data

We have selected around some lines from the full text of the speeches of each candidate. The first set of data is that of Ruhani and the second is Qalibafs. It should be mentioned that we studied the full texts of the two speeches and believe that the selected samples are representative (i.e., reflect the overall gist) of the full texts.

4.1. Description: Text Analysis

According to Fairclough, CDA has three consistent levels: descriptive, interpretive and explanatory. In the first level a text is analyzed according to the visual and verbal signs. In order to disassemble a text at this level, Fairclough splits the descriptive dimension into three sub-parts, each part with some sub-questions: Vocabulary

1. What experiential values do words have?

2. What relational values do words have?

3. Are there euphemistic expressions?

4. Are there markedly formal or informal words?

5. What expressive values do words have?

6. What metaphors are used?


1. What experiential value do grammatical features have?

2. What types of process and participant predominate?

3. Are sentences active or passive?

4. Are sentences positive or negative?

5. What relational values do grammatical features have?

6. What modes are used?

7. Are the pronouns we and you used, and if so, how?

8. What expressive values do grammatical features have?

9. How are simple sentences linked together?

10. What logical connectors are used?

11. Are complex sentences characterized by coordination or subordination?

Text Structures

1. What interactional conventions are used?

2. What large-scale structure does the text have?

These questions are used for text analysis (description level). In disassembling a text it is important to remember that it is impossible to read meaning directly off the verbal and visual textual signs. By that we mean the visual and formal characteristics are highly related to the level of meaning or conceptualization. This is well demonstrated in the speech samples. In the following parts of the paper we will answer some of these questions in order to clarify the discussion.

4.2. Interpretation: Processing Analysis

On the basis of interpretation, Fairclough mentions two dimensions of utterance. First, surface of utterance, which studies the processes by which interpreters convert strings of sounds or marks on paper into recognizable words, phrases and sentences. Second, meaning of utterance, which allocates meaning to the component parts of an utterance that may correspond to sentences or to semantic propositions. The third level of interpretation reflects local coherence of the text, which creates meaning relations between utterances, therefore, producing coherent interpretations of pairs and sequences of them. This level in fact emphases on the connective values of formal features of text. Fairclough states "it has a partially 'internal' character compared with the others, in that it is a matter of the values formal features have in connecting together parts of text" (2001: 108). Cohesion in text can either include vocabulary connections between sentences-repetition of words or use of relative words. It can also involve connectors that mark various temporal, spatial and logical relationships between sentences. It can also include reference, i.e., words that refer back or forward to an earlier or later sentence. With regard to this point, Fairclough discusses two other questions:

A) What logical connectors are used in the texts?

One main point related to the ways connecting (simple) sentences in these two speeches is that the vast numbers of sentences are short which are connected to the other short sentences by current logical connectors. The connector "and", "but", "because" in both speeches is frequently used by the speakers. But in the most parts of the two texts the connection between sentences is the result of the juxtaposition of different sentences. This feature is obviously clear in both speeches. In introductory paragraph both speakers connect the simple short sentences by logical connectors. In the following paragraphs, both utilize simple short sentences individually (and the connection between them is drawn from juxtaposition or intonational devices such as pause),

B) Are complex sentences characterized by coordination or subordination?

As we mentioned in the last section, the number of complex sentences in both speeches is low and instead, simple sentences have the role of conveying information. However, in both texts we see some complex sentences in which

the main clause and subordinate clause are connected by the help of subordinators—that, what, etc. It appears a natural phenomenon for speaker whose aim is giving a lecture comprehensible for people from different strata of society to use simple short sentences instead of long complex sentences to be decoded in their mind with difficulty. Coherence itself is divided into global and local coherence. By global coherence we mean that kinds of relations which bind together different parts of the whole text while local coherence discloses relations within a particular part of a text.

The last level is text structure and point. In this level the interpreter studies how a whole text hangs together (global coherence). By point, Fairclough means a summary interpretation of the text which interpreters arrive at. Point is in fact what tends to be stored in long-term memory so as to be available for recall. Shortly speaking, point of a text is its general topic. From another viewpoint on interpretation, the interpreter must challenge four other questions related to situational context and discourse type:

1) What's going on in the text?

This subpart investigates the "contents" of the text. This question is subdivided into activity, topic and purpose. Activity is the most general and identifies a situation in terms of one of a set of activity types. In this article, the activity of the nominees is a kind of propagandistic activity. They are both propagandizing themselves and in a broader sense their parties. Scheme which includes the activity part of the contents of a text is a mental manifestation of the large-scale textual structure. The texts in our study are the full texts of speech produced by Ruhani and Qalibaf in the course of running for Iranian 2013 presidential elections. As the topic shows the texts are about the speaker's perspectives on the reasons or motivations to run for election, general plans to run the country, foreign policy, problems of Iranian citizens living abroad, target-oriented subsidies, Iranian nuclear program and inflation. Our case studies are the representations of a propagandizing activity in which two nominees are revealing their thought. It is a representation of a particular type of activity in terms of foreseeable elements in an anticipated sequence (Fairclough 2001: 132).

Topic is what the text is about. Activity types are also associated with particular purpose. Topic, from another viewpoint represents the frame of a text. Frames represent the objects that exist in the natural and social world. It is a demonstration of whatever can figure as a topic, or subject matter or referent within an activity. The purpose of both Ruhani and Qalibaf can be condensed in one single phrase: "to win the game." In the world of politics, two politicians are competing with each other; they criticize each other and also the rival party in order to show a positive appearance to people with the aim of gaining more votes.

2) Who is involved in the action?

By this question, we study the "subject." This question itself relates to some other issues. Primarily, one of its dimensions originates from the activity type. In this case, we handle a speech; speeches have one place for the lecturer. Then, the institution allots social identities to the subjects who function within it. In our examples, in each case, there is a politician, a nominee, who tries to win the future presidential election in Iran. Additionally, in different situations there are different speaking and listening positions. In this paper we have speaker and addressee roles. Here, there is no role changing between them. Our speakers are fixed without changing their role with the addresses.

3) What are the relations of the people involved in the action?

Here, we deal with "relations." When we talk about relations, we should look at subject positions more vigorously: what relationships of power, social distance and etc. are set up in the situation? Both Ruhani and Qalibaf have high positions from the view of a social ranking stratification. They are politically influential and are supported by two major political parties of the country. About the social distance between them and their addresses, we think there is no precise answer. Their addresses are from different classes of society. There are people whose power and social position are lower, equal or even higher than the speakers.

4) What is the role of language?

"Connections" are studied under this question. Language is being used in an instrumental way as a part of a wider institutional and bureaucratic objective. It is used to convey information. In this sense and regarding our examples we deal with the genre of speech and its channel is spoken. 5. Explanation: Social Analysis

Reproduction associates the stages of interpretation and explanation, because while the former refers to how members' resources (MR) are drawn upon in processing discourse, the latter refers to the social constitution and

change of MR, including of course their reproduction in discourse practice (Fairclough, 2001). The goal of the stage of explanation is to depict a discourse as part of a social process, as a social practice, showing how it is determined by social structures, and what reproduction effects discourses can in all have on those structures sustaining them. These social determinations and effects are 'mediated' by MR: that is social structures shape MR, which in turn form discourses; and discourses sustain or change MR which in turn sustain or change structures.

Therefore, explanation is a matter of seeing a discourse as part of processes of social struggle, within a matrix of relations of power. We can think of explanation as having two dimensions, depending on whether the emphasis is upon process or structure—upon processes of struggle or upon relations of power. On the one hand, we can see discourses as parts of social struggles, and contextualize in terms of these broader (non-discursive) struggles on structures. This puts the stress on the social determination of discourse and on the past (Fairclough, 2001: 136). On the other hand, we can show what power relationships determine discourses; these relationships are themselves the outcome of struggles, and are established (and, ideally, naturalized) by those with power (ibid).

The Iranian society is in a period of change or transformation in its political history. Today, the atmosphere of politics in Iran is competitive. The two presidential nominees or broadly speaking, two major political parties of Iran are trying to win the election and gain the political, social, economic and "universal" power for the following four years. In this level of analysis, we are often looking at the same features from different perspectives. It should be noticed that the texts we have studied in this article are official lectures about the topic, which has caused politicians, and even usual people with different viewpoints to show concern about it.

Their lectures can be seen firstly in specific terms as showing two different positions. These two positions are underlined through the language they use. Of course, both have the views of a politicians who are against present foreign policy in Iran and the way to deal with neighbor countries and negotiating the nuclear program. However, Ruhani tends to show more flexibility and come to a compromise with the west. While, Qalibafs speech words from the perspective of a politician who believes general foreign policy is not determined only by the president, but by other parts of the system like the, legislation, judiciary and especially the supreme leader; owing to the fact that he is one of the candidates that are at the same wing as the leader and one of the confidant nominees. This fact is illustrated by the vocabulary items utilized by two candidates: for instance defective premises, unsuccessful beliefs, faulty foreign policy, and defective management. The expressions "unsuccessful" and "strained", belong to opposing ideological framework whereas the existence of words such as connection, cooperation, positive results, advances, replicate success, indicate a right ideology to the framework. Therefore, the study of two speeches categorizes two different ideological schemes; these differences illustrate the world implied in the vocabulary used by them.

Fairclough continues that in terms of effects, a discourse may represent its own social determinants and the (MR) with almost no change. In this case the producer is in a normative relation to MR: this relation is associated with situations. But, on the contrary if a discourse brings about greater or lesser degree of contribution, in this way the producer is in a creative relation to MR. This is the characteristic of a situation which are problematic. The choice between these two depends on the nature of the situation. As we mentioned before the situation and the current atmosphere of the Iranian society is electoral and therefore competitive. The ideas uttered by each party cause some reaction in the rival party and public thought. Even we sometimes see that such a kind of states stimulates some rebellious behaviors in different parts of a country by the supporters of the rival party. This fact exhibits that the nature of situation and also political relations are challenging; thus both discourses in this article are in a creative relation to the MR. In this way we can claim that Ruhani and Qalibaf are in a creative relation to MR.

6. Discussion

CDA is not merely the study of the structures of language and text but is the study of people, institutions and organizations. The main idea in this approach is that the relation between form and content is not arbitrary; this relation is recognized by cultural, social and political constraints. Ruhani and Qalibaf, the two nominees of the future presidential election of Iran are from two different parties. The first is from the left, Reformists Party and the next from the right, Principlist Party. Each one has been selected as the nominee of his party by support of all the members within their own party. We know that the present Right wing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, adopted

a foreign policy that caused a lot of tension between Iran and the west and has brought about a hostile atmosphere that resulted in an impasse in negotiations and putting sanctions against Iran. Both Ruhani and Qalibaf are in a competition with the same goal. Each one wants to win the election and to enter the center of power in the country. The study of their speeches shows that although both declaring compromising with the west, Qalibaf, unlike Ruhani, claims more obedience of the law, and maintaining the prestige of the country and demonstrates less flexibility toward west and resuming relations with the United States. These two different perspectives can be drawn from line by line of their speeches. Let us have another look at the texts.

Ruhani begins his speech by mentioning the problems of people and the main cause of these problems that is defective foreign policy and foreign relations. By referring to national identity he seeks support from people. He refers to what he really takes as a key to success that is national unity and alliances between people. He considers the presence of the plenty of geniuses and human capital dramatic advantages and says that the country has the potential to flourish with good management, employing effective strategies and effective use of all the resources. The important point in this paragraph is the insistence on national identity and potentials that have been misguided by lack of good management and his emphasis on of this concept exactly reveals his thought. He explicitly imagines President Ahmadinejad, the starter of the crisis, as a person who failed having good relations with the world and boosting foreign relations. He sees the inflexibility and tension-making policies as actions which are based on faulty premises and intelligence.

On the other side, Qalibaf starts his speech by mentioning aspirations and concerns of people in general and tries to show his understanding of people. In the third paragraph, Qalibaf lists the successes in his own career as the police chief and the mayor of Tehran. Even he counts these successes under the title of "positive results." In the same paragraph of Ruhani's speech, he is on the contrary, counts his education, positions and experiences and seeks people's judgment about his successful political career. He points to the large number of books written under his supervision as confirm to his abundant experiences.

In the following paragraphs, Qalibaf again praises the results of and progresses gained by his actions in the police and Tehran municipality. His goal of mentioning these items is just illustrating his abilities and effective planning. He also objects to dissatisfactory economic achievements and believes that ineffective management has caused the recession. Also in the last paragraphs, Qalibaf considers ineffective administration has made the target-oriented subsidies plan problematic for the country.

Ruhani in the last two paragraphs roughly objects to the social inequality, unjust distribution of wealth, and lack of employment. Ruhani's last paragraphs assert the finishing of the unsuccessful ideology and political strategy of tension and struggle. He implies his oppositional position about inflexibility in negotiations; and interestingly talks about changes in the policy. Regarding the target-oriented subsidies, again he maintains that the plan is in essence a good plan but ineffective administration has caused a lot of problem for the country. Finally, Ruhani calls the reality of the present atmosphere a gap between Iran's experience and the wisdom of the judgment, a gap between the supporters of national flourish and the reality of the economic impasse caused by the same policies and maintains that it is possible to overcome these problems by being rational and reasonable, and selecting experienced individuals who are moderate in their actions.

All in all, the study of the opinions, viewpoints and rhetoric of these two nominees discloses two different positions. While Qalibaf can be considered as one of the supporters of maintaining the distance from the U.S. by saying "the world is not just the U.S", Ruhani can be called as one of those who think we cannot avoid the U.S forever. These two different viewpoints or generally speaking strategies are recognized from the language utilized by the nominees. The literature used by them shows two different perspectives on the same topic by two rivals of the presidential election.

But why? What is the reason of existence of these two distinct positions to the same topic? Why do these two politicians have such different opinions? What do they want to say through the channel of language? Although, the results of resistance and tension with are clear, what happened to the economic condition of people and the instability imposed to the society and the people in the country, are transparent and clear to all. They both consider two diverse positions. We think that the answer sits in the recent history of the country and the interests of the nominees. Ruhani has started his election competition by the motto "change" and "government of strategy". In his propaganda, he always promises the people to bring "change" to the society. He believes that "changes" in different aspects of society, economic, political, social and cultural dimensions will enter the country if he is elected as the

president. He promised the Iranian nation to bring "changes" to the internal and external politics. With no doubt such a kind of oppositional position is the result of some dissatisfaction with the current politics in the country.

It shows that language is used not only to represent the superficial aspects of thought and the relation of language to power and ideology but to develop the deep layers of human's mind and aims. Their speeches are the reflection of what they are really looking for in the world of politics.


In this paper, we studied the speeches of two nominees of Iran's presidential election in the framework of critical discourse analysis (CDA). Their speeches are about exterior and interior policies, inflation, problems of Iranians living abroad, sanctions imposed by west, and Iranian nuclear case. The study of two texts evinced that the producers of the texts are far from each other in representing and analyzing the same event. The investigation of the speeches clearly showed that the two candidates are distinct. Although, the topic of their speech is the same, its reasons and results for both politicians and mass people are the same, Ruhani and Qalibaf reflect two different viewpoints through the channel of language. This fact reveals that multiple personal and impersonal motivations such as materialistic and spiritual interests, social position, power relations and situational position trigger the production of the text. It seems that the descriptions, interpretation, explanation and analysis of multiple texts with the same topic can be extremely diverse based on the speaker's/writer's thought, point of view, political, social and ideological stimulus.

In this study, the two rivals of presidential election try to win the election and gain political power. We all know the tragic consequences of the policies of the previous government. However, Qalibaf does not show that he is decisive to change the foreign policy of struggle and tension completely. It seems that these two differing thoughts rooted from two oppositional ideologies and views: while Ruhani is from the rival party which is against rigidity and making tension, Qalibaf belongs to the party which is starter of the tension. Therefore, the two nominees propagandize their parties regardless of the effects of the policies. This fact is done through the language. On the basis of this fact it can be claimed that language is in the hands of the nobles of power who utilize it according to their own taste. One of the ways that the men of power and politics use to represent their mind is language, in this way language is in fact a mannequin which is used by the leaders of society.


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