Seven candidates will test their chance to the Iranian office of presidency in election this Friday. The presidential election is due on June 18.
Out of hundreds of people who registered for presidential election in Iran, seven found their way to the final round. The presidential debates, held in three rounds, indicated that every political and societal attitude has a representative in the coming election.
The Iranian Guardian Council is in charge of evaluating registrants before qualifying based on documents and evidences. The council consists of six religious scholars, along with six lawyers who are proposed by the head of judiciary. Parliament issues the final ratification for the lawyers.
Among the candidates running for the presidential election, there are five conservatives and two reformists. Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, the current head of judiciary, is one of the candidates from the right movement. Raisi has been a revolutionary activist since Iranian 1979 revolution. He served as high court judge, attorney general, and head of judiciary in different periods.
Saeed Jalili is another candidate from the so-called revolutionary movement. Jalili’s role as chief negotiator at nuclear talks in Ahmadinejad’s administration is still a matter of disputes in the coming election. Conservative supporters find Jalili a nationalist serving the nation’s interests against the western political and economic pressure.
Mohsen Rezaei is the third candidate with a conservative background in Iranian presidential election. A former Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Rezaei attends the election as a candidate for the fourth time. He is currently serving as secretary of Iranian Expediency Discernment Council.
Alireza Zakani, a current parliament member, is also another conservative candidate. His performance at the presidential debates in Iranian State TV attracted the attention. Zakani quit candidacy on Monday, four days before the election, supporting Raisi’s cause in the election.
Amirhossein Qazizadeh-Hashemi is also another candidate serving in the Iranian parliament as a member for the fourth consecutive term. Qazizadeh-Hashemi is a physician and moderate conservative in Iranian political sphere.
On the left, the two candidates representing the reformist movement in Presidential election are Abdolnaser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehralizadeh. Hemmati is an economic expert recently ousted as head of the Central Bank of Iran.
A former governor and head of Iran’s national sports organization, Mehralizadeh is the only direct representative from Mohammad Khatami’s reformist government. Khatami is the founder of reformist movement in Iran back in 1997.
A Successor for Rouhani
Unofficial polls and data from Iran say Ebrahim Raisi stands the best chance to win the coming election. This is while the Hemmati, his main rival from the reformist front, is improving his condition among the candidates.
The new government is to succeed Hassan Rouhani in August. Rouhani’s government, generally referred to in Iran as ” Government of moderation”, succeeded in signing nuclear deal with world powers after decades of conflicts during the former governments.
The deal, however, was torn apart after US former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it. Trump replaced the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with a “maximum pressure” strategy to undermine Iranian economy.
Back to negotiation table during the Biden era, Rouhani’s chances to revive the deal has not realized yet. The moderate president started work in Obama era and is going to finish it in Biden era. His function as president, however, has been largely affected by Trump’s presence in the White House.
Iranian presidential election has inspired the people with fresh hope for changing the condition. Reports from inside Iran indicate fervent campaigns across the country supporting the candidates. Apart from economic, security or societal circumstance, Iranians have always believed in elections and its impact on their living condition in the past decades.
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