A number of potential presidential candidates in Iran have emerged out of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), raising concerns regarding the further militarisation of the country’s politics.
Hopefuls have until Saturday to formally register their status as a candidate ahead of the election on 18 June. Their names will then be handed to the conservative-dominated Guardian Council, which vets all presidential candidates.
Iranian state news reported that this year saw “the longest-ever list in a presidential election with a military background”.
Although candidates with a military background are not new, it is unprecedented for serving members of the military to announce their candidacy. IRGC-linked candidates include Saeed Mohammad, an adviser to Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami, and Admiral Rosta Ghasemi, an economic affairs aide to the head of the IRGC’s elite Quds force.
Although they have yet to announce their candidacy this year, two more members of the IRGC – Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Ali Larijani – have both run for the presidency in the past. Jomhouri-e Eslami, a moderate newspaper, has warned of the “negative consequences” of electing military figures.