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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Iran’s Guardian Council has approved six candidates for the upcoming presidential election scheduled for June 28.

Among those whose candidacies have been approved by the Guardian Council are former Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, two high-profile conservative political figures.

Other candidates in the race include former lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian, former minister Mostafa Pourmohamadi, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, and former lawmaker Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi.

The candidacy of former Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who was expected to be the top reformist contender, was rejected by the election supervisory body. Ali Larijani, a former Parliament Speaker believed to have the backing of the reformist camp, also failed to make the cut.

Both Jahangiri and Larijani were disqualified by the 12-member council in the 2021 presidential election when Abdolnasser Hemmati was the lone reformist challenger to Ebrahim Raisi. Hemmati, who was again in the running this year, also had his candidacy rejected. The candidacy of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also rejected by the Guardian Council.

Speculation is rife that Ghalibaf, who was re-elected as a parliament speaker late last month, will be the main conservative figure after the presidential debates, as he enjoys strong support from lawmakers. Among reformists, Pezeshkian is likely to be the main contender.

The snap presidential vote is scheduled for June 28 following the death of President Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19 in northwestern Iran. Qualified candidates will now have two weeks to campaign before the voting.

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