Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

And the candidates are…

The Guardian Council has spoken. Here are the candidates for Iran's presidency.

Iran election: The six men running for president
Six candidates have been cleared to stand for president in Iranian elections in May. Current President Hassan Rouhani is among those standing - no female candidates were allowed - but he faces tough competition. Here are the key figures in the race.

Hassan Rouhani: The incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, 68, is a smiling, soft-talking cleric… Known for his sharp intellect and oratory…

With joblessness now at 12.5%, and young people especially hard hit, this is likely to be key election issue for Mr Rouhani, whose support base includes many of the younger generation…

Ebrahim Raisi: Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, 56, is the surprise candidate of this election. With a background in the judiciary, he has kept in the shadows and is not widely known by Iranians. He has close personal ties to the leadership of the Revolutionary Guard and as the favoured candidate of the hardliners, he is likely to be Mr Rouhani's key challenger.

Mr Raisi holds a PhD in Islamic law and had a stellar rise through the ranks of the judiciary, becoming deputy prosecutor for the capital Tehran at the age of just 25.

In 1988 he was one of four judges who sat on the so-called "death commissions" deciding the fates of thousands of opposition prisoners who were executed as their sentences came to an end…

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf: The youngest candidate in the race is Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a 55-year-old pilot and former commander of Revolutionary Guards air force. A familiar figure to Iranians, Mr Ghalibaf has been mayor of Tehran since 2005 and this is his third bid for the presidency.

He ran a strong campaign in 2005, but lost out in the final days when conservatives switched their alliance to the more populist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…

Eshagh Jahangiri: Reformist Eshagh Jahangiri, is the current vice-president. Many observers believe he is there to support his boss, Mr Rouhani, and to provide another moderate voice - especially during TV debates where the rhetoric can often get quite hostile…

Mostafa Mirsalim is an ultra-conservative figure who is supported by some of the most traditional conservatives…

Mostafa Hashemitaba, is another lesser known figure. He was a minister of industries and mining in the 1980s and later became the head of National Olympic Committee of Iran. He tried his chance for presidency in 2001 but finished 10th out of 10 candidates…

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