Prominent Iranian politicians enter presidential elections Saturday

On the fifth and the last day of the enrollment for upcoming presidential elections the most famous hopefuls from both ends of the political spectrum entered the race.

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the head of Iran’s Judiciary officially joined the race on Saturday. Raeisi said in a statement earlier today that he entered the elections as an independent candidate while he has been seen largely in the Principalists camp. He said in his statement that he wanted to fight corruption and incompetence. It is noteworthy that Raeisi has launched a widespread anti-corruption campaign since he took the office in early 2018 as the Judiciary chief.

This the second time that the current Judiciary head runs for president. In the previous presidential elections in 2017, he came in second place after the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.

The current First Vice President Es’hagh Jahangiri was the second most prominent politician who announced his candidacy on the last day of the registration today. It has been said that he is the Reformist camp’s main contender.

Jahangiri also ran in the 2017 race but he pulled back and called on his supporters to vote for the incumbent President Rouhani. Today, he told reporters in the elections headquarters in the Interior Ministry that he decided to enter the race after current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced he would not be running.

The Vice President also said that he would protect fundamental civil rights as his main slogan.

The former parliament speaker Ali Larijani was one of the main contenders that entered the race on Saturday.

Larijani served as the speaker of the Iranian Parliament between 2008 and 2020. The veteran politician also served as the secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council from 2005 to 2007, during which he led Iran’s nuclear negotiations.

He is largely considered to be a principalist politician while he is revered by the reformists as a moderate figure as well.

The former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili who was the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013, also went to the Interior Ministry to run for president on Saturday afternoon. He is considered to be a more conservative politician in the Principlaists camp.

Jalili also ran in the 2013 elections but he came in third place.

Mohsen Rezaei, the former IRGC commander-in-chief during the early years after the Islamic Revolution, also filed his application on Saturday. He currently holds office as the secretary of the Expediency.

Rezaei is considered to be a conservative politician belonging to the Principlaists camp. He has run in most previous presidential elections.

Talking to reporters after his registration, the ex-IRGC commander called for planned action rather than words as a solution to the country’s economic problems.

Alireza Zakani, a senior lawmaker from the more conservative faction of the Principlaict camp also went to the Interior Ministry on Saturday to announce his bid by completing the registration process.

Meanwhile, a number of other political figures from both Reformist and Principlist camps registered to run for president in the Interior Ministry on Saturday.

The former cabinet ministers Abbas Akhoundi, Shamseddin Hosseini, Mohammad Shariatmadari have also enrolled for president.

The former lawmakers Mostafa Kavakebian and Masoud Pezeshkian from the Reformist end of the political spectrum have already joined the race.

Also on Saturday, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, the son of the late ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is currently the head of the Tehran City Council registered for the election.

The former chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Ezzatollah Zarghami was another figure who entered the race on the last day.

Abolnasser Hemmati, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran also announced his presidential candidacy on Saturday. He said that he sought widespread and deep economic reforms as the most critical priority for the country.

According to an earlier announcement, the registration process will come to an end at 18:00 local time later today.

The Guardian Council, which observes the elections process in Iran, will look into the applications of almost 592 hopefuls and will announce the final list of the candidates who will qualify for the presidential race.

As many as 592 individuals, including 40 women have enrolled for the race, which is going to be held on June 18.


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