Iranian media say heavyweights Ahmadinejad, Larijani and Jahangiri barred from June poll
Three of the best-known candidates in Iran's June presidential elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Larijani and Eshaq Jahangiri, have been barred from running, Iranian media said Tuesday.
First reported by ultraconservative Fars news agency, the trio's disqualification by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council came days before campaigning starts for the June 18 poll to succeed President Hassan Rouhani.
Iranian media had widely predicted a showdown between conservative former parliament speaker Larijani, an advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and ultraconservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.
But unlike Raisi, Larijani did not feature on what Fars said was an "unofficial final list" of seven candidates approved by the Guardian Council, which has veto power over election hopefuls.
Reformists had pinned their hopes on Jahangiri, first vice-president to Rouhani.
Firebrand ex-president Ahmadinejad had been expected to be disqualified.
If Ali Larijani, a former speaker of parliament and long an establishment figure, is denied a run in #IranElections (as a leak by an IRGC-linked news outlet claims) the formal reason given might be this: her daughter, Fateme Ardeshir Larijani, living in US and practicing medicine— Arash Azizi 🟣 (@arash_tehran) May 25, 2021
Approved candidates on the list reported by Fars also include ex-Revolutionary Guards chief Major General Mohsen Rezai, ultraconservative former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati.
The other three on the list were the reformist ex-vice president Mohsen Mehralizadeh, and ultraconservative MPs Alireza Zakani and Amirhossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi.
The Guardian Council's spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee also said that "only seven of the presidential candidates have been qualified by the council", according to the council's website.
He had earlier told ISNA news agency that the final list "must be announced by the interior ministry".
That is expected to happen on Wednesday or Thursday.
Barred candidates have until midnight Tuesday night to appeal. Those approved are allowed to start campaigning from May 28.
Under the Islamic republic's constitution, Rouhani is barred from running for a third consecutive term.