Conservative Ebrahim Raisi leads Iran’s presidential candidates | Election News


Tehran, Iran – The top candidates to become the next president of Iran registered on the last day of registration on Saturday and the vast majority were conservatives, receiving a moderate reaction from the government.

Analysts believe Ebrahim Raisi, the current chief conservative in power, is Iran’s eighth president in the June 18 election.

In a statement hours before arriving at the Interior Ministry to sign up, Raisi, 60, said he wants to form a “people’s government for a strong Iran” that will fight corruption and improve the country’s economy. , which has been a great success with U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“God, you are a witness that I have never been seeking office or power, and even at this stage I have entered the field despite my will and personal interests, and only to fulfill my duty to respond to people and elites. and create hope, ”wrote the man who is often cited as the next supreme leader when Ali Khamenei mor.

Raisi, a former attorney general and custodian of the important Astan Quds Razavi in ​​Mashhad, sanctioned by the US in 2019 for human rights violations, enjoys strong support from a wide range of conservatives and defenders.

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf did not register to support Raisi, but former Foreign Minister Saeed Jalili did.

Both Raisi and Ghalibaf competed unsuccessfully against outgoing President Hassan Rouhani in 2017, but Raisi managed to get 38 percent of the vote, or just under 16 million.

In addition, there was also Mohsen Rezaei, former IRGC Commander-in-Chief and current Secretary of the Expedition Board who has worked unsuccessfully four more times, as well as Iranian Central Bank Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati.

“Superman-like” promises

More than 59 million Iranians can vote this year, but turnout is expected to be low amid public disillusionment and continued economic problems.

On Saturday, Ali Larijani, a former adviser to the supreme leader, who recently negotiated the 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement between China and Iran, became the latest key candidate to sign up.

The former speaker of parliament said the country needs more than the “populist and Superman-like” promises in its current difficult situation and expressed hope that the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers would lead to the lifting of unilateral US sanctions.

First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri registered and registered reformist Mohsen Hashemi, the current president of Tehran City Council and the eldest son of the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

He was followed by lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian, former transport minister Abbas Akhoundi, and Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the head of the Supreme Cyberspace Council which is under US sanctions for participating in Internet censorship.

Raisi is a former Attorney General and guardian of Astan Quds Razavi in ​​Mashhad [File: TIMA via Reuters]

Elimination of candidates

Since registration opened on Tuesday, there are other prominent candidates who have signed up: former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps Saeed Mohammad, former defense minister Saeed Dehghan, former oil minister Rostam Ghasemi and the reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh.

Most reformers are expected to be disqualified by the conservative Guardian Council, made up of six scholars appointed directly by the supreme leader and six legal experts indirectly influenced by him. The council now has until May 27 to announce its final list of qualified candidates.

Last week, the council unilaterally proclaimed a series of new conditions for elections that some observers considered illegal. Among other things, he said candidates must be between 40 and 75 years old, have no criminal record (including political dissent) and be able to demonstrate at least four years of experience in executive leadership.

On Thursday, the government issued a statement tacitly criticizing the fact that reformists were being purged, as conservatives and hardliners dominate the ground, which it said would hurt voter confidence.

“The government deeply believes that unity finds meaning in participation, not in dismissal,” he said.

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