Six Iranian presidential candidates participate in a live debate on state TV in Tehran, April 13, 2017. (AFP)

April 19, 2021

Conservatives in Iran are vetting a list of ten candidates for the country’s next presidential elections scheduled for June 18, revealed former Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

The chief of the Combatant Clergy Association, a powerful right-wing caucus in Iran, has urged leading candidates to come together and back a final nominee in the upcoming race.

Ali Movahedi-Kermani, according to Iranian news agencies citing Mottaki on Sunday, sent an official letter to the top ten conservative runners hoping to succeed current President Hassan Rouhani.

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi, the secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council Mohsen Rezaee, former national security chief Saeed Jalili, and former defense minister Hossein Dehghan are considered the strongest contenders among conservative candidates for the 2021 presidential race.

A young generation of Revolutionary Guard leaders is in the mix as well, led by Saeed Mohammad, who once headed the Corps’ powerful economic wing, “Khatam al-Anbiya.”

Speaking on the occasion of Army Day, Rouhani reasserted the need to uphold the views expressed by the country’s first supreme leader, Khomeini, on military leaders getting involved in politics.

Rouhani urged army generals to stay away from political action.

“The duty of our armed forces is not only of a military nature, but also includes an obligation not to engage in politics,” reminded the president, noting that the army’s mission is to protect the sovereignty of the nation.

As for reformists, they are likely to nominate former president Muhammad Khatami and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as left-wing candidates for the presidency.

All presidential candidates in the cleric-led country are carefully selected by the Guardian Council based on their loyalty to the revolutionary fundamentalists, particularly supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

For that reason, candidates hardly represent the ideals of ordinary citizens or the younger generation.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.