Six Candidates for Iran’s Presidential Election Approved by Guardian Council

Ahmadinejad and Larijani are ruled out as contenders

Saeed Jalili e Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf

Six candidates – five conservatives and one reformist – have been identified and allowed to run in Iran’s presidential election. The Guardian Council of the Iranian Constitution, a body composed of six theologians appointed by the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and six jurists approved by the parliament whose task is to verify the suitability of candidates, has allowed to participate in elections former Attorney General Mostafa Pourmohammadi, parliament member Massoud Pezeshkian, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative on the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, Medjlis (Parliament) Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf , and Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, head of the Martyrs and Veterans Foundation.

Iran’s presidential election will be held on June 28. The date comes after the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdollahian, and several other Iranian officials on May 19 in a helicopter crash.

Election Commission spokesman Mohsen Eslami said that those excluded from the elections include former conservative president Mahmud Ahmadinejad (he has already been excluded twice from the presidential elections in 2017 and 2021), former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, considered a moderate, and finally the country’s former vice president Eshaq Jahangiri. The Guardian Council is not legally required to explain or justify its choices.

According to the Iranian press, the only candidate from the reformist camp is Massoud Pezeshkian, a deputy from the city of Tabriz and former health minister. All others are conservative and ultra-conservative, such as Gazizadeh-Hashemi. According to Iranian and international experts, “the main struggle will unfold between Jalili, one of the former negotiators of the nuclear deal, and the current chairman of parliament Ghalibaf.”