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Iran announces six candidates for the presidential election: Ahmadinejad not included

The most prominent candidate remains Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, 62, a former Tehran mayor with close ties to the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The Iranian Constitutional Council, a 12-member body overseeing elections, has finalized the list of approved presidential candidates and submitted it to the Interior Ministry.

As reported by IRNA, the following six candidates have received the council’s approval to run for president:

  • Mostafa Pourmohammadi; Massoud Pezeshkian; Amirhossein Ghazizadeh; Alireza Zakani; Saeed Jalili, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Iran is set to hold presidential elections on June 28th, following the tragic demise of President Ebrahim Raeisi in a helicopter crash on May 19th, according to Tehran Times.

The five-day registration period for candidates ended on June 3rd, with 80 individuals registering. The Constitutional Council was given seven days to vet the candidates, with the option of extending the period by an additional five days.

Iran’s Guardian Council has approved the country’s parliament speaker and five others to run in the upcoming election after the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and seven others.

In Sunday’s announcement, the council again barred former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known for the crackdown that followed his disputed 2009 re-election, from running.

The council’s decision marks the beginning of a shortened, two-week campaign to replace Raisi, a protege of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once considered a possible successor for the 85-year-old cleric.

The selection of candidates approved by the Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists ultimately overseen by Khamenei, suggests Iran’s theocracy aims to ensure a smooth election following recent votes that saw record-low turnout.

The campaign is likely to include live, televised debates by the candidates on Iran’s state-run broadcaster, billboard advertisements, and stump speeches.

So far, none of the candidates have offered specific plans, though all have promised to improve the economic situation as the country suffers from sanctions by the US and other Western nations over its nuclear program, which is closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

While such matters of state remain the final decision of Khamenei, past presidents have leaned either toward engagement or confrontation with the West.

The most prominent candidate remains Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, 62, a former Tehran mayor with close ties to the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

As a former Guard general, he participated in a violent crackdown on Iranian university students in 1999. He also reportedly ordered the use of live gunfire against students in 2003 while serving as the country’s police chief.

Qalibaf ran unsuccessfully for president in 2005 and 2013. He withdrew from the 2017 presidential campaign to support Raisi in his first failed presidential bid. Raisi won the 2021 election, which had the lowest turnout ever for a presidential vote in Iran, after every major opponent was disqualified.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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