In Brief: Iran announces presidential candidates list

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

Iranian state television announced on Tuesday that 7 candidates had received approval from the country’s constitutional watchdog ahead of next month’s presidential election.

The 7 were selected from more than 590 candidates registered by the Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Among the approved candidates are chief justice, Ebrahim Raisi, former IRGC commander-in-chief Mohsen Razaee, former Supreme National Council secretary Saeed Jalili, former Majils member Alireza Zakani, and deputy Majlis Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi.

The Guardian Council vets potential candidates and determines who can and cannot run for national office. The council is entirely made up of conservative hardliners.

Raisi is widely seen as the strongest candidate of the 590 who declared. A hardline conservative cleric, Raisi lost the 2017 race to the more moderate Rouhani.

Many other figures connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps also declared their candidacy for the presidency, including former agriculture minister Sadeq Khalilian, former IRGC military officer Ali Larijani, and incumbent IRGC second brigadier general Saeed Mohammad.

The presidential election is due to take place on 18 June.