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Ex-nuclear negotiator Jalili registers to run in Iran presidential election

Saeed Jalili speaks to reporters after registering at the interior ministry to run in the snap presidential election next month, in Tehran on Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Photo by Tasnim)

Five hopefuls have registered to run in an early presidential election next month in Iran, on the first day of registration following the passing of President Ebrahim Raeisi in a helicopter crash.

Saeed Jalili, a former chief nuclear negotiator and currently a member of the Assembly of Experts tasked with electing the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, was the first heavy-weight politician to register on Thursday for the election.

"The progress of our people and global trends show that we face a historic opportunity," he said after the registration, citing US officials' admission that Washington's policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran has failed.

"Our people are ready to play their big role for the development of the country," he added.

Jalili said whoever steps into the election race must know its importance like the "martyr president", referring to President Raeisi.

"The next president should appreciate the great capital of the nation like the martyr president," he said.

Iran today, Jalili said, needs "pin-point decisions" for further progress and more lasting justice.

"A pin-point decision means paying attention and focusing on priorities. It means to have a full command over decisions and focus on issues that target the roots of problems," he said.

"Progress cannot be achieved except with justice - a justice that respects the right for each and every Iranian to participate in the country's leap forward," Jalili added.

For a leap and progress, maximum participation of people is necessary, where everyone should be able to grow and thrive, he said further.

The five-day period will see those between the ages of 40 to 75 with at least a master's degree register as potential candidates for the June 28 presidential election.

All candidates ultimately must be approved by Iran's 12-member Guardian Council, a panel that checks the qualifications of the hopefuls.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the vetting process will be seven days and then qualified candidates will have almost two weeks for the election campaign. The Guardian Council will publish the list of qualified candidates on June 11.

Majid Mirahmadi, head of the committee for election security, said voter turnout is expected above 70 percent.

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