Six Candidates Compete in Iran’s Presidential Election

Candidates vying to succeed late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi are predominantly conservative and hardline.

The Iranian Interior Ministry has finalized a list of six individuals who will compete in the upcoming presidential election slated for this month. The election was triggered by the passing of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May.

The Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists holding veto power over parliamentary legislation and determining eligibility for office in the Islamic Republic, approved these candidates.

The ministry announced on Sunday that Masoud Pezeshkian, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, Saeed Jalili, Alireza Zakani, Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf will participate in the June 28 election.

Ghalibaf, currently serving as the speaker of Iran’s parliament, is a former police chief who previously ran for president in 2005 and 2013 but was unsuccessful. Hashemi currently holds the position of vice president, while Zakani is Tehran’s mayor. All three are classified as hardliners. Pezeshkian is regarded as a reformist. Mohammadi is a conservative jurist, while Jalili headed Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013 and was a prominent figure in nuclear negotiations.

Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian perished when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed on May 19 in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but the General Staff of the Iranian military has ruled out sabotage.

“No defects that could have affected the accident were found in terms of repairs and maintenance,” the General Staff stated, adding that the helicopter’s weight at takeoff was “within the permitted limit.” The report concluded that the weather conditions along the helicopter’s route “need to be investigated further.”