Iranian presidential candidate registration to begin

The registration of candidates for the 13th Iranian Presidential election begins today and will continue until May 16. The process

Iran presidential candidate

Photo: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty

The registration of candidates for the 13th Iranian Presidential election begins today and will continue until May 16.

The process is fraught with interference from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei himself selects the members of the Guardian Council–a group responsible for supervising electoral processes–and thus chooses the candidates for the June 18 election.

The results will provide insight into who the Ayatollah favors for the presidency. Hossein Dehghan, a former Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officer and advisor to Khamenei is a sure candidate and election favorite. Muhammed Qalibaf, former Mayor of Tehran, is another likely candidate given his ties to the regime and position as Speaker of Parliament. Given the country’s economic condition and faltering nuclear peace talks with the US under Rouhani’s reformist agenda, the majority of candidates will be hardliners or conservatives in a bid to centralize power and boost the IRGC’s political credibility. Expect little enthusiasm from Iranian voters and low turnout come June’s election. Anti-government protests, like those seen in 2019 and 2020, are possible if there is not a politically moderate alternative for voters.

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