Iran ap­proves 6 can­di­dates

Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to in­clude in­cum­bent; Ah­madine­jad barred

The Dallas Morning News - - WORLD -

TEHRAN, Iran — An Ira­nian panel in charge of vet­ting po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates ap­proved the coun­try’s in­cum­bent pres­i­dent and five chal­lengers to run in next month’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion but dis­qual­i­fied former hard-line Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad, state tele­vi­sion re­ported Thurs­day.

Hundreds of others were also dis­qual­i­fied.

The de­ci­sion by the Guardian Coun­cil, which is dom­i­nated by cler­ics, means that Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani, a rel­a­tive mod­er­ate, will face off against a field that in­cludes two prom­i­nent hard­lin­ers: Ebrahim Raisi, who is con­sid­ered close to supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei, and Tehran Mayor Mo­ham­mad Bagher Qal­ibaf.

The other pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates will be mod­er­ate Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Eshaq Ja­hangiri, con­ser­va­tive former Cul­ture Min­is­ter Mostafa Mir­salim, and pro-re­form former Vice Pres­i­dent Mostafa Hashemitaba.

Ah­madine­jad, who re­mains a deeply po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure even among Ira­nian hard-lin­ers, shocked the coun­try by reg­is­ter­ing to run last week. Khamenei had urged him not to run.

Ah­madine­jad was pres­i­dent from 2005 to 2013 and was best known abroad for his in­cen­di­ary rhetoric to­ward Is­rael, his ques­tion­ing of the scale of the Holo­caust, and his ef­forts to ramp up Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

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