Wednesday Apr 17, 201302:25 PM GMT

Iran Presidential Election

Iran is preparing to go to the polls on June 14 to elect its 11th president since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Following is a brief overview of the ten elections held so far:


Total votes cast: 14,146,622 votes

Winner: Abolhassan Banisadr with 10,709, 330 votes

Presidential contenders:

Ahmad Madani with 2,224,554 votes
Hassan Habibi with 674,859 votes
Sadeq Tabatabaei with 114,776 votes
Dariyoush Forouhar with 133,478 votes
Kazem Sami with 89, 220 votes
Sadeq Qotbzadeh with 48,547 votes

The president’s fate: Impeachment and removal from power.

Important events: Mas’oud Rajavi, then Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) leader, dropped out of the presidential race due to his opposition to the Constitution. Jalaloddin Farsi also dropped out of the race due to rumors about his not being of Iranian decent.


Total votes cast: 14,573,803

Winner: Mohammad Ali Rajaei with 12,770,050 votes

Presidential contenders:

Abbas Sheibani with 658,498 votes
Akbar Parvaresh with 339,646 votes
Habibollah Asgarowladi with 249,457 votes

The president’s fate: He was martyred along with the then Prime Minister Bahonar in a bomb attack at the Office of the Premier.

Important events: This election was held under tumultuous circumstances following the removal of Banisadr from power.


Total votes cast: 16, 847,717 votes

Winner: Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with 15,905,987 votes

Biography: On July 16, 1939, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei was born in the holy city of Mashhad, Khorasan. He was the second son of Seyyed Javad Khamenei, a humble and poor Islamic scholar who encouraged his family to lead a simple, humble way of life. At the age of four, Seyyed Ali and his older brother Mohammad were sent to maktab (school) to learn the alphabet and the Holy Quran. Later, he was transferred to a newly established Islamic school to continue his learning. After this primary schooling, Seyyed Ali pursued his studies at the theological seminary in Mashhad. At Soleiman Khan and Nawwab religious schools and under the supervision of his father and the tutorship of great religious scholars, he studied all the 'intermediate level’ curriculum including logic, philosophy and Islamic jurisprudence within the span of five years. He then started his advanced level studies called darse kharij (majoring in jurisprudence) with such eminent scholars and instructors as Grand Ayatollah Milani. At the age of eighteen, he furthered his studies at the highest level and decided to make a pilgrimage to the holy shrines in Iraq. So, he left Iran for Najaf in 1957. Fascinated by the theological and academic instructions of such prominent scholars such as Ayatollah Hakim and Ayatollah Shahrudi, he attended their lectures and wished to stay there and continue his studies. However, his father made it known that he preferred his son continue his advanced studies in the holy city of Qum. Thus, respecting his father's wish, he returned to Iran in 1958. With utmost diligence and enthusiasm, he followed his advanced studies at the seminaries in Qum from 1958 to 1964 and benefited from the teachings of great scholars and grand ayatollahs such as Ayat. Borujerdi, Imam Khomeini, Ayat. Haeri Yazdi and Allamah Tabatabai. In 1962 in Qum, Seyyed Ali joined the ranks of the revolutionary followers of Imam Khomeini who opposed the pro-American, anti-Islamic policies of the Shah's regime. Dedicated and fearless, he followed this path for the next 16 years which ultimately led to the downfall of the Shah's brutal regime: persecution, torture, imprisonment and exile could not make him waver for a moment. Shortly before the victory of the Islamic Revolution (February 11, 1979) and before Imam Khomeini's victorious return to Iran from Paris, an Islamic Revolutionary Council was formed at the behest of the late Imam. Ayatollah Khamenei was appointed as a member of this Council together with other important Islamic notables such Shahid Ayatollahs Motahhari and Beheshti. He, therefore, left Mashhad for Tehran to take up his new responsibilities. In 1982, he was elected as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the martyrdom of President Mohammad Ali Rajai (Ayatollah Khamenei was himself the target of an assassination attempt at Abu Dhar mosque in Tehran after which he was hospitalized for a few months). He was reelected as President of the Islamic Republic for a second 4-year term. In 1989, he was elected as the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Assembly of Experts after the death of Imam Khomeini. He has authored dozens of books in Arabic and Farsi. (Extracted from The Leader’s official website

Presidential contenders:

Akbar Parvaresh with 338,294 votes
Reza Zavarei with 77,798 votes
Hassan Ghafourifard with 61, 805 votes

The president’s fate: He served his full four-year term in office.

Important events: For the first time, clerics were allowed to run for the presidency.


Total votes cast: 14, 238, 587

Winner: Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with 12, 205, 012 votes

Presidential contenders:

Seyyed Mahmoud Kashani with 1, 397, 548 votes
Habibollah Asgaroladi with 276, 502 votes

The president’s fate: With the passing away of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic in 1989, and the subsequent appointment of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to leadership, the country had to hold snap presidential election.


Total votes cast: 16, 452, 677

Winner: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 15, 550, 528 votes

Presidential contenders:

Abbas Sheibani with 635, 165 votes


Total votes cast: 16, 769, 787

Winner: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 10, 566, 499 votes

Presidential contenders:

Ahmad Tavakoli with 4, 026, 879 votes
Abdullah Jasbi with 89, 780 votes
Rajabali Taheri with 114, 776 votes

The president’s fate: He served his full four-year term in office.

Important events: In the run-up to the presidential election, Ahmad Tavakoli accused Hashemi Rafsanjani’s government of economic injustice and incompetence. But, most Principlist groups backed Rafsanjani, while some leftists shunned the election. The Islamic Revolution’s Mujahideen Organization (IRMO) said the election was a sham.


Total votes cast: 28, 160, 328

Winner: Seyyed Mohammad Khatami with 20, 078, 178 votes

Presidential contenders:

Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri with 7, 242, 859 votes
Reza Zavarei with 771, 460 votes
Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri with 67, 831 votes

Important events: Division emerged in the Principlist camp following the establishment of technocratic Executives of the Construction of Iran (Kargozaran) Party which supported Hashemi Rafsanjani. Leftist groups first solicited former wartime prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi to run for president, but after his refusal, they turned to Mohammad Khatami.


Total votes cast: 28, 086, 507

Winner: Seyyed Mohammad Khatami with 21, 594, 070 votes

Presidential contenders:

Ahmad Tavakoli with 4, 383, 190 votes
Ali Shamkhani with 734, 923 votes
Abdullah Jasbi with 259, 325 votes
Seyyed Mahmoud Kashani with 237, 003 votes
Hassan Ghafourifard with 128, 801 votes
Seyyed Mansour Razavi with 114, 486 votes
Seyyed Shahaboddin Sadr with 60, 389 votes
Ali Fallahian with 54, 974 votes
Seyyed Mostafa Hashemitaba with 27, 853 votes


Total votes cast: 27, 331, 483

Winner: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with 17, 284, 782 votes

Biography: Born in 1956 in the village of Aradan in Garmsar, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad grew up and studied in Tehran. In 1975, he successfully passed the university entrance exam with flying colors and majored in civil engineering at the University of Science and Technology. In 1997, he obtained a Ph.D. in transportation engineering and planning from the Science and Technology University. As a student, Ahmadinejad attended religious and political meetings before the Islamic Revolution. With the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he became a founder and also a member of the Islamic Association of Students in the Science and Technology University. During the war imposed by Iraq on Iran, Ahmadinejad remained an active volunteer force (Basiji) in the battlefront until the end of the war. He is married and has three children, two sons and one daughter.

Presidential contenders:

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 10, 046, 701 votes
Mehdi Karroubi with 5.07 million votes
Mostafa Moin with 4.08 million votes
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf with 4.07 million votes
Ali Larijani with 1.74 million votes
Mohsen Mehralizadeh with 1.29 million votes

Important events: It was the first presidential election which headed into a runoff. Hashemi Rafsanjani, Moin and Karroubi protested the result of the election. Reformists Moin and Mehralizadeh were initially disqualified to run for president but were allowed to run after Ayatollah Khamenei issued a special decree.

10TH ELECTION, JUNE 12, 2009

Total votes cast: 38, 951, 043

Winner: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with 24, 592, 793 votes

Presidential contenders:

Mir-Hossein Mousavi with 13, 338, 121 votes
Mohsen Rezaei with 681, 851 votes
Mehdi Karroubi with 338, 278 votes

The president’s fate: He is serving his term in office.

Important events: Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei questioned the vote result. After the Guardian Council accepted the vote result as valid, Rezaei also accepted the outcome, but the other two defeated candidates refused to do so.

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