Senior cleric Raisi officially announces candidacy for Iranian President

Tasnim – Hojatoleslam Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the chief custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, officially announced his decision to run for president in Iran’s upcoming election.

In a statement on Sunday, Hojatoleslam Raisi declared his candidacy for president, saying he plans to campaign on the platform of reviving the economy, combating recession and tackling unemployment in the country.

The top cleric further promised that he will “save” the county from future crises through restructuring its executive management system.

“I deeply believe that the (current) situation can be changed and that bringing back mobility, vitality and (economic) boom to people’s lives is possible with the help of God,” he wrote in the statement.

Hojatoleslam Raisi is believed to become a serious rival for President Hassan Rouhani, who will be seeking a second term.

Two major political camps are at the heart of Iran’s politics, which are known as Reformists and Principlists. All other possible candidates not affiliated with any one of these two camps are considered as independent.

The 12th presidential election in Iran will be held on May 19.

The previous presidential election in June 2013 saw Rouhani emerging victorious by garnering 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes.

Nearly 50.5 million Iranians were eligible to vote in the 11th presidential election, while the voter turnout in the polls stood at 72.7 percent.