Iranian conservatives unveil candidates ahead of 2017 presidential vote

Al-Monitor- As Iran approaches its May 29 presidential election, conservatives are striving to reach a consensus over a single candidate. However, it looks like they have a very long and difficult road ahead in achieving this objective as various conservative parties have been unveiling their preferred candidates.

On Dec. 16, Mostafa Mirsalim, the former minister of culture and Islamic guidance, was announced as the candidate of the Islamic Coalition Party (ICP) for the presidential election.

Hamid Reza Taraghi, a member of the central council of the ICP, told the Young Journalists’ Club on Dec. 16 that the party had decided to nominate Mirsalim. However, in an interview with ILNA news agency Dec. 19, Taraghi said, “Declaring Mirsalim as the candidate of the [ICP] depends on his expressing his own view about the matter.”

In July 1980, Mirsalim was proposed by then-President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr as a candidate for prime minister, but parliament did not vote him in. In 1994, he was appointed as the minister of culture and Islamic guidance in the presidential Cabinet of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. At present, he is a member of the Expediency Council, which is chaired by Rafsanjani.
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