Iran: 6 approved candidates for the presidential elections – breaking news

There are six candidates – five conservatives, two ultra-conservatives and only one reformist – who have been allowed by the Guardian Council to run in the presidential elections scheduled for June 28 in Iran to replace Ebrahim Raisi, who died last May 19 in a helicopter crash. This was announced by the Ministry of Interior in Tehran. They are Saeed Jalili, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Masoud Pezeshkian, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Ali Reza Zakani, and Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani were excluded again.

The six candidates were selected by the Guardian Council, an unelected body dominated by conservatives responsible for supervising the elections, from among 80 individuals who submitted their nominations.

The only candidate from the reformist camp is Masoud Pezeshkian, the deputy of the city of Tabriz and former health minister. The others are Mohammad Baqir Qalibaf, the conservative parliament speaker; Ali Reza Zakani, Mayor of Tehran; Saeed Jalili, the former conservative negotiator on the nuclear file; Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, head of the ultra-conservative Martyrs Foundation, and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, former interior minister.

Among those excluded are once again former conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was already excluded from the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections, as well as former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who is considered a moderate. The Guardian Council is not required by law to justify its choices.

In the 2021 elections, Ibrahim Raisi won and was elected in the first round also due to the exclusion of all reformist and moderate candidates from a list of 592 candidates, which the Council reduced to a shortlist of seven final candidates. On that occasion, only 49% of Iranians voted: the lowest turnout since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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