TEHRAN: Iranians have been called to the polls on June 18 to elect a successor to President Hassan Rouhani, who has served the maximum two consecutive four-year terms allowed by the constitution.
The seven candidates, all in favour of efforts to revive Tehran‘s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, have been instructed by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to focus on the country’s economic woes.
Here are the programmes of the candidates, starting with the clear favourite:
The 60-year-old ultraconservative has headed Iran’s judiciary since 2019 after a three-decade career in the legal system.
Raisi won 38 percent of the vote in the last presidential election in 2017.
He has vowed to combat poverty and corruption, to construct four million new homes in four years, and to build “a government of the people for a strong Iran”.
At 50, the ultraconservative Ghazizadeh-Hashemi is the youngest candidate in the field.
A doctor by profession, he has since 2008 been an MP for Mashhad.
He has proposed soft loans of five billion rials (around $17,000) as employment and marriage funds for the young, and a quick fix to the months-long decline on the Tehran stock market, without giving details.
The 66-year-old economist has headed Iran’s central bank since 2018.
A member of Iran’s Turkish-speaking minority, he has campaigned for central bank independence and less “state interference” in the economy.
He has also advocated an “active diplomacy with East and West” for the sake of economic development.
After having worked in Khamenei’s office, the 55-year-old ultraconservative was in charge of negotiations with world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme between 2007 and 2013 as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.
He also ran in 2013 elections.
Jalili advocates stronger economic relations with neighbouring countries, rather than waiting for assistance from the West, and closer ties with states “following the same line” as Iran.
A former vice president, the 64-year-old reformist and member of the country’s Turkish-speaking minority served as a provincial governor in 2017-2018.
He also ran for president in 2005.
Mehralizadeh’s platform calls for modernisation in agriculture to address water shortages, transparency in political life and the construction of affordable housing.
The former commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Rezai, 66, already ran for president in three previous polls.
He is secretary of the Expediency Council, tasked with resolving disputes within the Iranian system of government.
He has proposed financial aid of 4.5 million rials ($17) a month for 40 million Iranians, almost half of the population, and pledged to boost exports to neighbouring countries and to make the rial the region’s “strongest currency”.
A doctor in nuclear medicine, aged 55, he served in parliament for the holy city of Qom between 2004 and 2016, and won a seat last year as MP for Tehran.
Zakani advocates deploying the economic potential of the Iranian diaspora and developing the mining sector.