No media report allowed for or against presidential candidates as of Thursday

IRNA – The Election Headquarters announced that domestic media will not be allowed to release any report in favor or against any of the presidential candidates as of Thursday morning.

According to a press release issued on Monday night by Information Committee of the Election Headquarters, the order would come into effect from 80:00 hours local time Thursday morning (03:30 GMT).

The election headquarters told directors of newspapers, news agencies, news channels, social networks and journals that they have to stop publishing any reports against or in support of any of the presidential candidates as of May 18.

The 12th presidential election is slated for May 19.

On April 20, the Guardian Council approved six candidates to run for the presidential election.

The Guardian Council is an influential body charged with interpreting the Constitution of Iran, supervising elections of and approving of candidates to the Assembly of Experts, the President and the Majlis, and ensuring the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly [i.e. Majlis] with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution.

The qualified presidential canidates include:

** Hassan Rouhani, (born in 1948), the incumbent Iranian president, is a member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, which appoints the country’s leader. The former posts he used to fill include membership of Majlis (Iranian Parliament) and headship of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

**Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, (born in 1947), is currently the head of the Islamic Coalition Party’s Central Council. He is a conservative politician and engineer who served as the country’s minister of culture and Islamic Guidance from 1994-1997. From 1981 to 1989, he served as the advisor to then president Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

**Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, (born in 1947), was a vice president under former President the late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He also served as former minister of industries and the former head of the Sports Organization.

**Eshaq Jahangiri, (1957) currently serves as the first vice president. He used to be minister of mines, the governor of Isfahan, and a parliamentarian.

**Ebrahim Raeisi, (born in 1960), is currently the custodian of Razavi Holy Shrines, the organization managing the affairs of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), the eighth Shia Imam, in the city of Mashad. He has already served as head of supervisory council at Radio and Television (Seda-Sima), Country’s prosecutor general, general prosecutor for clerics, member of association of combatant clerics in Tehran and presiding member of assembly of experts.

**Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, (born in 1961) currently the mayor of Tehran, was a former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Air Force, an ex-chief of the national police, and a former commander of Iran’s Khatam ol-Anbya Air Defense Base.

However, Qalibaf quitted presidential race on May 15, asking his supporters to vote for Ebrahim Raeisi.