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Iran OKs 7 candidates to replace Rouhani as president next month

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on September 20, 2020. He will be replaced by a new president in Iran on June 18. File Photo by EPA-EFE
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on September 20, 2020. He will be replaced by a new president in Iran on June 18. File Photo by EPA-EFE

May 25 (UPI) -- The Iranian government on Tuesday released a list of seven candidates it has approved to run for president in next month's election to succeed President Hassan Rouhani.

Tehran's interior ministry issued the list of seven candidates that were approved and found to be qualified by Iran's Constitutional Council.

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The list of approved candidates includes conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's judiciary leader, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei, Alireza Zakani, Seyyed Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, Albdolnasser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

Rezaei sits on Iran's Expediency Council and Jalili served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013.

The council barred former parliament speaker Ali Larijani from running. He was once seen as a possible front-runner in the race. He is a longtime member of the Iranian political establishment who favored the 2015 nuclear deal with several other nations, including the United States.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also found by the council to be ineligible. He has expressed interest in returning to the presidency since he left in 2013, but has not been allowed to run.

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Ahmadinejad threatened to boycott next month's election if the council didn't let him run.

Tehran said close to 600 people registered to run for president, but only 40 submitted all the documentation required to be vetted by the council.

The election will be held on June 18.

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