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Vetting of Iranian presidential hopefuls over, ‘only seven’ candidates approved

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, spokesman for Iran’s Constitutional Council (photo by IRNA)

Iran’s Constitutional Council has confirmed that it has finished vetting individuals hoping to run for president in the June 18 election and that it has handed over a final list of approved candidates to the Interior Ministry.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, spokesman for the Council, said on Tuesday (May 25) that the body had completed the vetting process and forwarded the list of qualified individuals to the Ministry of the Interior late on Monday.

Reports had emerged on Monday night that the vetting had been over and the Interior Ministry had received the list. But neither the Constitutional Council nor the Ministry had commented until now.

The silence was particularly pronounced given that one report said two heavyweight candidates — Iranian Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani — had been disqualified.

Only seven individuals approved: Spokesman 

The Interior Ministry has two days to publish the Council’s list. It had not released the names as of 06:45 GMT on Tuesday.

Separately, Kadkhodaee told ISNA that only seven individuals had been approved to run for president. He did not name them, though, explaining that the Interior Ministry had to announce the names.

That remark gave partial credibility to a report by Fars news agency late on Monday that listed seven names, excluding those of Jahangiri and Larijani.

Jahangiri is still serving as vice president in the administration of incumbent Hassan Rouhani. He has been fielded as the Reformist camp’s top candidate. And Larijani, the longest-serving speaker of Parliament from 2008 to 2020, has implied in several tweets since registration that he intends to take on both the Reformist and Principlist camps’ candidates.

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