Iran’s Guardian Council Approves Candidates for June Presidential Election

The Guardian Council of Iran has approved six candidates to run in the country’s presidential election scheduled for June 28th. This decision comes after the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of President Ebrahim Raisi and seven others. Among those approved by the council is Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the hard-line speaker of Iran’s parliament. Qalibaf, a former mayor of Tehran, is considered a close ally of the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Once again, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in the election. Ahmadinejad, known for his fiery rhetoric and his role in the crackdown on the 2009 Green Movement protests, has repeatedly challenged Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s authority.

The Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists overseen by Khamenei, is responsible for vetting candidates for all elected offices in Iran. Its decision to approve Qalibaf and the other candidates suggests that Iran’s leadership seeks to ensure a smooth and controlled electoral process.

The upcoming presidential campaign will be a condensed two-week period, with candidates set to participate in televised debates and public speeches. They are expected to focus on economic issues, as Iran continues to grapple with sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations over its nuclear program.

The election will take place amidst heightened tensions between Iran and the West over its support for Russia in the war in Ukraine and its arming of proxy forces in the Middle East. The outcome of the election could have a significant impact on Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, as well as its relations with the international community.

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