Who will become new President of Iran?

Four candidates are running for the Presidency: reformist MP Masoud Pezeshkian, former Interior and Justice Minister, hardliner Mustafa Purmohammadi, former nuclear negotiator and Khamenei's representative in the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, as well as Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf.

The hard-line mayor of Tehran, Alireza Zakani, announced his withdrawal from the race for the Presidency of Iran. Earlier, Iran's conservative figure, Vice President Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi withdrew his candidacy for the Presidency the day before the elections. This is what political commentator Sadreddin Soltan says in the program "Difficult Question", which is hosted by Kamran Mahmudov.

According to him, Mustafa Purmohammadi is the former Interior Minister (2005-2008), Minister of Justice (2013-2017). He was involved in the massacre of Iranian prisoners in 1988. For this reason, he is extremely unpopular with the people and his chances of winning are low.

However, conservative Saeed Jalili is a very strong figure. He is the representative of the Supreme Leader of Iran in the Supreme National Security Council. During the Iran-Iraq War, he served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He headed the Administration of the Supreme Leader, and later as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Europe and America. He was one of the opponents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) supported by former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, also known as the Agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Program (an agreement between Iran and a group of states known as 5+1 regarding Iran's nuclear program.

The group consists of the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as Germany – Ed.). It is claimed that Said Jalili managed to form a shadow cabinet in the government of the late President Ibrahim Raisi.

Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf is a pretty strong contender. He was previously the Chief of Police of Iran (from 2000 to 2005) and Commander of the IRGC Air Force (from 1997 to 2000). On May 28, 2020, he was elected President of the Mejlis.

As for the "reformer" Masoud Pezeshkiani, he previously served as First Deputy Speaker of Parliament (from 2016 to 2020), and from 2001 to 2005 was Minister of Health and Medical Education in the government of Mohammad Khatami. Pezeshkiani's political career is conventionally divided into two periods – the first, when he had not yet started running for President and the second, when he ran for President three times. During the first period of his political activity, he actively criticized the ruling circles, but during the second period the criticism faded away. According to Soltan Sadraddin, Jalili and Ghalibaf have the most preferable chances to win the Presidential race.

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