x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Top contenders for Iran's presidential elections

Iran's presidential elections are just two weeks away and the Guardian Council has cut the list of potential candidates from about 700 to eight. Of them, the following five are considered the leading candidates.

Iran's presidential elections are just two weeks away and the Guardian Council has cut the list of potential candidates from about 700 to eight. Of them, the following five are considered the leading candidates.

 

Saeed Jalili: Iran's nuclear negotiator since 2007 is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and seen as a hardline conservative close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

Hassan Rowhani: A moderate cleric close to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, he served as nuclear negotiator, presiding over talks that led to Iran's suspension uranium enrichment activities between 2003 and 2005.

 

Ali Akbar Velayati: Served as foreign minister from 1981 to 1997 and advises Khamenei on foreign policy matters. He is seen as a traditional conservative, with ties to the supreme leader and to Rafsanjani's camp.

 

Gholam Ali Haddad Adel: A former parliament speaker and relative of Khamenei by marriage, he is a close adviser to the Supreme Leader.

 

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf: A former police chief, he is the current mayor of Tehran and has a reputation as a competent manager who could attract the youth vote. He is viewed as a pragmatic conservative.