Conservatives and hardliners dominate the list of contenders to succeed the deceased Ebrahim Raisi Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf addresses the media after submitting his candidacy for the Islamic republic’s upcoming presidential election in Tehran, Iran, June 3, 2024 © AFP / Atta Kenare

Iran’s Interior Ministry has released a final list of six candidates who will compete in this month’s presidential election. The election was called after President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in May.

The candidates were approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, a panel of clerics and jurists that holds veto power over legislation passed by parliament, and determines who can seek office in the Islamic Republic.

Masoud Pezeshkian, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, Saeed Jalili, Alireza Zakani, Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf will take part in the June 28 election, the ministry announced on Sunday.

Ghalibaf is the current speaker of Iran’s parliament. A former police chief, he ran unsuccessfully for president in 2005 and 2013. Hashemi currently serves as vice president, while Zakani is Tehran’s mayor. All three are considered hardliners. Pezeshkian is viewed as a reformist. Mohammadi is a conservative jurist, while Jalili headed Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013 and was a senior nuclear negotiator.

Raisi helicopter probe raises more questions – Iran Raisi helicopter probe raises more questions – Iran

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Raisi helicopter probe raises more questions – Iran

Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were killed when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed on May 19 in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan. The cause of the incident has not yet been established, but a report from the General Staff of the Iranian military said that sabotage had been ruled out.

“No defects that could have affected the accident were found in terms of repairs and maintenance,” the General Staff declared, adding that the weight of the helicopter at takeoff was “within the permitted limit.” Weather conditions along the chopper’s route “need to be investigated further,” the report concluded.