BEIRUT: Iran’s Guardian Council approved Tuesday eight candidates for the upcoming presidential election and rejected the candidacies of both former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and presidential adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.
The approved list of candidates includes three reformists: Mohammad Reza Aref, who served as first vice president during Mohammad Khatami’s administration; Hassan Rouhani, a former national security chief under both Khatami and Rafsanjani; and Mohammad Gharazi, a former minister during both Rafsanjani’s presidency and Mir Hossein Mousavi’s premiership.
Four candidates from the conservative Principalist faction, which is generally perceived to be close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, were also given a green light to run: Saeed Jalili, Iran’s current nuclear negotiator and head of the Supreme National Security Council; Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the current mayor of Tehran; AliAkbar Velayati, Khamenei’s foreign policy adviser and former foreign minister; and Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the former speaker of parliament.
Centrist candidate Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guards commander who ran in the last presidential election in 2009, was also on the approved list of candidates. More than 600 men and women registered to run.