Iran Unveils List of Eight Presidential Candidates - Report

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Iran Unveils List of Eight Presidential Candidates - Report
Published 22-05-2013, 10:27
The Iranian Interior Ministry published on Tuesday a list of eight candidates permitted to run in June 14 presidential election, FARS news agency reported.

The candidates were selected by the Guardian Council, the group that supervises the election.

The list of presidential hopefuls is dominated by conservatives, who are Tehran’s mayor, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, the country’s lead nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei and a former parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel.

Three reformist candidates approved by the Guardian Council are former vice president Mohammad Reza Aref, former nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani and former oil and telecommunications minister Mohammad Gharazi.

The Guardian Council, however, excluded from the list Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president supported by Iran’s moderates and considered a founding member of the Islamic republic.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s top aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, was also bared from the June 14 presidential ballot.

Incumbent President Ahmadinejad will not run for a third term due to term limits under the Iranian constitution.

Analysts say the Iranian voters may lean toward electing a new leader who would promote less hostile diplomacy in a nuclear dispute with the West, as tough international sanctions have a significant impact on the deteriorating living standards of Iranians.

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