Gulf Today

Iran registers candidates for presidenti­al polls


TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday opened registrati­on for candidates hoping to succeed President Hassan Rouhani, who will step down following the June 18 elections ater serving the maximum two consecutiv­e terms allowed.

The five-day registrati­on period at the interior ministry ends on Saturday, with the names of candidates then handed to the conservati­vedominate­d Guardian Council for veting.

More than 20 public figures have officially announced their intention to run, with the final list of those qualified due on May 26-27, the interior ministry said.

Former Revolution­ary Guards Corps’ official Saeed Mohammad, a general and an advisor to Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami, was one of the first to submit his name on Tuesday.

Mohammad, 53, who headed the Guards’ constructi­on and engineerin­g arm for over two years, resigned last in March to run.

Another was Mohammad Hassan Nami, an army general who was briefly telecoms minister under former ultra-conservati­ve president Mahmoud Ahmadineja­d, state news agency IRNA said.

According to the Hamshahri daily newspaper, Nami is a former military atache to North Korea, and also holds a doctorate in “public management” from Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University.

Several top political figures are seen as possible presidenti­al hopefuls, but are yet to declare whether they will run.

They include former parliament speaker Ali

Larijani, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has in recent months urged for high turnout, expressing hope that this would encourage the emergence of new young leaders, as the generation who oversaw the country’s 1979 revolution is ageing.

This year’s election is also expected to feature a string of military figures, stirring unease over a possible militarisa­tion of the Islamic republic’s politics.

The registrati­on process comes as Iran and world powers are engaged in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear accord, from which the US withdrew unilateral­ly in 2018, reimposing crippling sanctions.

Neverthele­ss, many view the country’s hardliners as ascendant - even as the US under President Joe Biden tries to find a way to re-enter the atomic accord.

 ?? Agence France-presse ?? An Iranian man registers his candidacy for presidenti­al elections in Tehran on Tuesday.
Agence France-presse An Iranian man registers his candidacy for presidenti­al elections in Tehran on Tuesday.

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