Iran's Guardian Council approves seven candidates for presidential election
Reformist and centrist candidates have been dumped for conservatives and hardliners
Iran's Guardian Council announced the list of approved candidates for the June 18 presidential elections. The seven in the list, leaked earlier this week by Fars News, are almost all conservative or hardline followers.
Although the Guardian Council can disqualify any candidate, Ayatollah Khamenei can ultimately amend the list. While the list has surprised many, the exclusion of former Parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who was seen as a frontrunner and main challenger to Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi, was expected.
These are the candidates:
Mr Raisi is a hardline conservative and Iran's Chief justice as well as a potential successor to Ayatollah Khamenei. Mr Raisi ran against current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2017, getting only 38 per cent of the votes.
Mr Raisi has said he will be running as an independent, focusing his campaign on fighting poverty and corruption.
Without the presence of Mr Larijani, Mr Raisi is expected to easily win the election.
Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi
Mr Hashemi is a hardline candidate and the first deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament. He has been a vocal critic of the broader region's efforts to normalise relations with Israel, as well as diplomatic relations with the west.
Mr Rezaei is a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and is currently Secretary of the Expediency Council. The council is in charge of resolving disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council.
Mr Rezaei has run for president a number of times, starting in 2005, but has been unsuccessful each time.
Mr Mehralizadeh has also run for president in the past. In 2005, he ran as a reformist candidate. Mr Mehralizadeh was earlier the Governor of Isfahan province, a part of the Khatami government as a vice president, and also the head of the National Sports Organisation of Iran.
Saeed Jalili, Iran's former nuclear negotiator during the presidency of Ahmadinejad is a hardliner and extremely close to Ayatollah Khamenei. He, along with Mr Raisi, is deemed a front-runner. Mr. Jalili is one of the more outspoken hardliner candidates. He is unlikely to foster diplomatic relations with the West, having promised no compromise over Iran’s nuclear programme and its involvement in Syria. Mr Jalili would probably further escalate Iran’s stand-off with the US.
Mr Zakani is a senior politician from the more conservative faction of the Principlaict camp. He is also the owner of two news websites. Mr Zakani had previously registered to run for president, but had been disqualified by the Guardian Council.
Mr Hemmati is currently part of the Rouhani administration. He is the central bank governor and considered a reform-minded technocrat. He has overseen Iran's central bank during a time when the economy has been under immense pressure from sanctions. He has been a supporter of the ongoing nuclear negotiations.
Updated: May 25, 2021 04:39 PM