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Iran approves list of presidential election candidates to replace Raisi

Iran’s election committee has approved a list of mostly hard-line candidates to run in the June 28 presidential election following the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials last month.

Of the initial 80 candidates, only six individuals passed a vetting process by Iran’s Guardian Council, a powerful 12-member body tasked with overseeing elections and legislation. There were four women on the longest list and none were approved.

The list includes hardline parliament speaker and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Saeed Jalili, former chief nuclear negotiator and former head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran’s top security body. .

Competition is expected to be fierce between Qalibaf and Jalili, who supported Raisi in the 2021 presidential elections.

“(Qalibaf) and Jalili are at competing conservative poles and are unlikely to withdraw in favor of each other,” wrote Sina Toossi, a DC-based Iranian analyst and senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, in an X post.

The list also includes Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Alireza Zakani and Mostafa Pour Mohammad, all of whom are also hardliners.

The Guardian Council, however, also approved Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist lawmaker who served as deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020.

Pezeshkian is expected to have little chance in the race. On Sunday (10), the reformist newspaper Shargh Daily published a photo of the six candidates with the caption “One against five”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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