Factbox: Contenders in Iranian presidential election

(Reuters) – Following are brief details of leading candidates for Iran’s June 14 presidential election, for which registration closed on Saturday.

AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI: The centrist Rafsanjani, an important figure since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, was president from 1989 to 1997. He earned the ire of hardliners after he sided with reformists during the unrest that followed the disputed 2009 election, and has seen two of his children jailed in recent months.

ESFANDIAR RAHIM MASHAIE: Former chief-of-staff to outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is viewed with intense suspicion by conservatives who say he leads a “deviant current” within Iranian politics that seeks to sideline the ruling clerics. They consider Mashaie and Ahmadinejad to be right-wing populists.

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 ROHANI: A moderate Muslim cleric, he also served as Iran’s nuclear negotiator, presiding over talks with Britain, France and Germanythat saw Tehran agree to suspend uranium enrichment-related activities between 2003 and 2005. He is seen as close to Rafsanjani.

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 both to ‘principlist’ factions – loyal to the supreme leader – and to Rafsanjani’s camp.

MOHAMMAD BAQER QALIBAF: A former police chief, he is the current mayor of Tehran and has a reputation as a competent, charismatic manager who could attract Iran’s sizeable youth vote. He is viewed as a pragmatic conservative.

GHOLAM-ALI HADDAD-ADEL: A former parliament speaker and relative of Khamenei by marriage, he is a close adviser to the Supreme Leader.

MOHSEN REZAIE: The veteran politician and former Revolutionary Guards commander ran in 2009 against Ahmadinejad and lost. He is the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, which advises Khamenei.

By Reuters


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