On May 25, 2021, Iran’s Interior Ministry has released a final list of the candidates found qualified by the Constitutional Council to run for president in the June 18 election. The 12 theologians and jurists on the Guardian Council, an unelected body, have the ultimate decision with regard to candidates’ qualifications.
The list includes the following names: Saeed JALILI, Seyyed Ebrahim RAEISI, Mohsen REZAEI, Alireza ZAKANI, Seyyed Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-HASHEMI, Albdolnasser HEMMATI, and Mohsen Mehr-ALIZADEH.
Raeisi has been the chief of Iran’s Judiciary since 2019. He is mainly associated with the Principlist camp, but he said he would be contesting the June 18 vote “independently.”
Rezaei, a Principlist, currently serves as the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council.
Jalili, a Principlist figure and former diplomat, served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. In that capacity, he served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in talks with major world states on the country’s nuclear program.
Zakani is a Principlist politician and a lawmaker representing the city of Qom in the Iranian Parliament (Majlis).
Ghazizadeh-Hashemi is a Principlist politician and lawmaker.
Hemmati, affiliated with the Reformist camp, is an Iranian politician and economist who currently serves as the governor of the Central Bank of Iran.
Mehr-Alizadeh, a Reformist politician, formerly served as vice president and head of the National Sports Organization of Iran under ex-President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami.
Iran will go to the polls to elect a new government as ROUHANI’s reformist government completes two terms in office. A sitting president cannot run for a third time in succession, according to Iran’s constitution.
A number of 595 candidates had earlier this month registered to run in the polls before their nominations were sent to the Guardian Council for vetting.
From the list are missing three crucial names from the candidate line-up. Former parliament speaker Ali LARIJANI, former president Mahmoud AHMADINEJAD, and Vice President Es’haq JAHANGIRI.
“The disqualification of many qualified people [is] a serious threat to public participation and fair competition among political tendencies, especially reformists” Iranian media quoted Mr. JAHANGIRI as saying.
While AHMADINEJAD’s rejection was widely anticipated, the other two hopefuls being disqualified is a big surprise.
LARIJANI, who is a conservative and has been appointed by Supreme Leader Ali KHAMENEI as a special envoy for China, was expected to be the main challenger to the likely winner of the election, Ebrahim RAEESI, who is backed by hardliners.
This election comes at a crucial time with Iran and world powers engaged in negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which the conservatives in Iran have frowned upon.
Ali KHAMENEI Iran’s Supreme Leader has called for a high turnout in the upcoming elections without backing any candidate. However, with top reformists facing disqualification, observers fear the voting turnout may be affected.
This article was edited using the data from Aljazeera.com, Iranintl.com, Presstv.com, Aa.com.tr and, Bbc.com.