TEHRAN (Iran News) – Raeisi Registers to Run for President as Independent. Seyed Ebrahim Raeisi, who heads Iran’s Judiciary, has registered to officially run in the June 18 presidential election, shortly after announcing his candidacy as an “independent.”
Raeisi turned up at the Iranian Interior Ministry’s election headquarters in Tehran on Saturday, the last day of the registration process, to officially hand in his credentials and put his name down for the race.
“Seeing the living conditions of the people; the issues of unemployment, high prices, the people’s livelihood, and the economic situation are a major cause for concern,” the Judiciary chief said after signing up for the vote.
Raeisi proclaimed that he would be running on a platform of fighting “corruption and incompetence,” and that he did not consider himself “a contender against political groups.”
In a statement earlier in the day, Raeisi — a figure largely associated with the Principlist camp — announced he was seeking to contest the key vote as an “independent” candidate with the aim of bringing about change in the country’s executive management.
“While respecting all the candidates and political groups, I have entered the scene…as an independent in order to bring about a change in the country’s executive management and put up a relentless fight against poverty and corruption, humiliation and discrimination,” he said the statement.
Raeisi said he had a good knowledge of the country’s challenges and problems besides its resources and capabilities, pledging efforts to help the nation in line with the “Second Step of the Revolution” statement issued in 2019 by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to Iran’s young generation.
Raeisi served as attorney general from 2014 to 2016, and was deputy Judiciary chief from 2004 to 2014. He was also prosecutor and deputy prosecutor of Tehran in the 1980s and 90s.
Another Principlist figure, Sa’eed Jalili, has joined the 2021 Iranian presidential race, despite widespread belief earlier that he would not run if heavyweight Ebrahim Raeisi did, and potentially contributing to a further division of Principlist votes.
Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has registered to run in the June 18 presidential election, pitting himself against Ebrahim Raeisi, who is seen as the Principlists’ main candidate.
Jahangiri filed his application with the election headquarters at the Interior Ministry on Saturday, the final day of the registration process for presidential hopefuls.
Jahangiri was the Reformist camp’s second-best choice, after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on Wednesday that he would not be running, turning the spotlight on the Iranian vice president.
“Our Iran has faced various issues and difficulties in recent years and is now in serious need of real openings in people’s lives, all-out development, [and] the improvement of people’s livelihoods with the removal of sanctions, sustainable economic growth that would create jobs, and support for production and a fairer redistribution of wealth,” he said.
“Elections should be honored and made effective as an opportunity arising from the ideals of the Islamic Revolution and the constitutional capacity to exercise national sovereignty and reform the governance process,” he added.
Jahangiri said he had not intended to run, but decided against his initial intention after Zarif announced his own refusal to run.
A former Parliament speaker, Larijani headed to the election headquarters at the Iranian Interior Ministry in Tehran on Saturday — the last day of registration — to officially put his name down for the race.
His nomination comes after weeks of speculation about whether or not he would run and whether he would run a Principlist or Reformist ticket. A veteran politician, Larijani is associated with the Principlist camp but has been tapped as a potential ally by both sides in recent months.
Larijani served as the speaker of the Iranian Parliament from 2008 to 2020. He was the secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council from 2005 to 2007.
Meanwhile, a number of other figures from the two Reformist and Principlist camps, including former cabinet ministers Abbas Akhoundi, Masoud Pezeshkian, and Shamseddin Hosseini, have so far appeared at the registration venue to file their applications.
Ex-lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian and former IRIB chief Ezzatollah Zarghami also put down their names for the key vote.
The registration process will come to an end at 18:00 local time later in the day.