Iran nominates six presidential candidates, including parliament speaker

Six candidates, including the speaker of parliament, have been cleared to run in Iran's general election this month to succeed President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash last month, state media reported on Sunday, saying the vote comes at a time when Iran faces severe domestic and international challenges.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Mohammad Bakr Ghalibafand five other men have been approved by the Guardian Council, the 12-member body that vets candidates, to run in the June 28 vote. National News Agency The Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Mohsen Islami, spokesman for Iran's election headquarters, as saying.

Mr. Ghalibaf, a retired pilot and former Revolutionary Guard commander who twice ran unsuccessfully for the country's presidency, is a Former mayor Tehran, the capital of Iran. He became speaker of parliament after the 2020 legislative elections.

Other candidates include Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former interior minister; Sayyid Jaliliformer chief nuclear negotiator; and Alireza Zakhani, the current mayor of Tehran.

Iran's next president will face problems at home and abroad. Severe economic difficulties and international sanctions have fueled discontent among some Iranians who are demanding social and political freedoms and prosperity.

The largest recent uprisings have been led by women and began in 2022 over the death in police custody of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, who was accused of violating the country’s headscarf laws by improperly covering her hair. Those protests have grown to calls for an end to clerical rule.

On the international front, the new president will also face Tehran’s “axis of resistance” policy toward the United States and Israel, including funding armed groups Hamas and Hezbollah based in Gaza and Lebanon, and arming the Yemeni Houthi rebels who have attacked cargo ships in the Red Sea.

A The Long Shadow War Tensions between Iran and Israel burst into the open in April when Tehran fired multiple missiles and detonated drones at Israel in retaliation for a deadly strike Inside the Iranian Embassy building in Damascus.

In addition, Iran also provided Moscow with Drone explosion It is using this strategy in Ukraine to weaken Ukraine’s ability to resist a full-scale Russian invasion in 2022. This, in turn, makes Tehran a central player in the Kremlin’s indirect confrontation with NATO countries, including the United States.

The next Iranian president will face a crucial decision on whether the country can become a “threshold” nuclear power, producing fuel for three or four nuclear bombs in a short period of time. Condemning Iran Because it refused to allow inspectors to examine its uranium enrichment program.

Iran has said for years that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and that it does not seek to develop a nuclear bomb. But in recent months, several senior Iranian officials have said Iran could revise its nuclear policy if faced with an existential threat from other nuclear powers, such as Israel and the United States.

Raisi died at the same time as Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian while traveling in the country's northwest. The president had been seen as a potential successor to the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his death has changed the dynamics of the debate over who will succeed Khamenei. One possible candidate is the Supreme Leader's son Mojtaba Khamenei.

While it is unclear how the June 28 election will affect the issue of succession, the country's leadership has taken steps to project stability following Raisi's sudden death and stressed that the country's governance will not be affected.

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