Iran Election 2021: Heavyweights Enter Presidential Contest

Iran Election 2021: Heavyweights Enter Presidential Contest
Iran Election 2021: Heavyweights Enter Presidential Contest

Political heavyweights, including Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi, former parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, and Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, threw their hat in the ring on the final day of the registration of candidates for the presidential election.
Arriving at noon in the Interior Ministry, Raeisi registered his candidacy for the second time in four years, having lost the previous election to incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.
“I have come as an independent candidate,” Raeisi said on Saturday, adding that his goal is to “bring about change in the executive management of the country and strongly fight poverty, corruption, humiliation and discrimination.”
Larijani was also among the dozens of senior political figures who signed up in the race. Another independent politician, former parliament speaker and adviser to the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, called for advancing diplomacy to solve economic issues.
Rebuking populist agendas, Larijani said, “The public will vote for someone that can solve complicated international problems.”
Vice president for the past eight years, Jahangiri filed his nomination on Saturday, pointing out that those more deserving than him “couldn’t or wouldn’t” join the race.
Former commander of Khatam Al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, a subsidiary of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Saeed Mohammad, signed up for the race on the first day of registration, among other military figures such as former defense minister, Hossein Dehqan, former ICT minister, Mohammad Hassan Nami and former military commander, Alireza Afshar.
Other key figures who have registered in the 2021 poll include former head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zarghami, former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi, and former oil minister, Rostam Qasemi.
A host of previous and current lawmakers from both the reformist and principlist camps joined the race, including the parliament’s first deputy speaker, Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, Mahmoud Sadeqi, Ali Motahari, Mostafa Kavakebian, Alireza Zakani and Masoud Pezeshkian.
Prominent reformist figure and former deputy interior minister, Mostafa Tajzadeh, and head of Tehran’s City Council, Mohsen Hashemi, also joined the contest, as well as former minister of economic affairs, Shamseddin Hosseini, and Abbas Akhoundi, former minister of roads and urban development.
Two members of the Expediency Council, Saeed Jalili and Mohsen Rezaei, chose the final hours of registration to sign up for the election, along with the head of Iran’s central bank, Abdolnasser Hemmati, and Mohammad Shariatmadari, the current minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare.
Registration of potential presidential candidates ended on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Vetting Process

Following the five-day registration period, the Guardians Council, Iran’s top vetting body, will begin the screening process before issuing the final list of candidates.
According to the election calendar, the council starts vetting individuals on Sunday and is required to declare the names of presidential candidates on Thursday.
Contenders in the 2021 poll have 20 days to campaign before Election Day.
The presidential election in Iran will be held on June 18, in which over 59 million are eligible to vote.

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