EghtesadOnline: The Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday the names of candidates qualified to run in the June presidential race that will elect the successor to outgoing President Hassan Rouhani.
Seven candidates were approved by the Guardian Council, Iran’s top vetting body: Ebrahim Raeisi, Abdolnasser Hemmati, Mohsen Rezaei, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Mehralizadeh, Alireza Zakani and Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, IRNA reported.
The majority of candidates deemed qualified by the council are associated with the principlist camp: Raeisi, the judiciary chief, ran unsuccessfully against Rouhani four years ago. Before getting appointed as the judiciary chief, he was the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, a charitable organization that manages economic enterprises endowed to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH(.
Rezaei is the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and he is currently serving as secretary of the Expediency Council. This is Rezaei’s fourth time running for president.
Jalili was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for five years. After his failed run for presidency, he was appointed as a member of the Expediency Council in 2013.
Zakani, a parliament member, had been disqualified by the Guardians Council in the previous two presidential elections. Qazizadeh Hashemi is the parliament’s first deputy speaker.
The only reformist among the candidates is Mehralizadeh, former vice president and head of the National Sports Organization of Iran. He ran for presidency once in 2005.
Hemmati, head of Iran’s central bank, is the only independent candidate.
The presidential hopefuls can begin campaigning straight away. According to the Interior Ministry’s press release, contenders have a 20-day window to campaign until one day before polls open on June 18.
Prominent political figures were disqualified by the Guardian Council during the ten-day screening process where the twelve members of the council, six clerics and six legal experts, vote on each potential candidate.
Among the senior politicians barred from running for presidency are Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani, former parliament speaker and adviser to the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Other notable disqualified figures include former head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zarghami, Mohammad Shariatmadari, the current minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare and Saeed Mohammad, former head of Khatam Al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, a subsidiary of the IRGC.
Some 590 individuals had registered their candidacy at the Interior Ministry.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, candidates are not allowed to hold campaign rallies in closed spaces.