Two conservatives with close ties to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have registered to run for the presidential elections in June. Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and former parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani appear to have the edge over the estimated 300 candidates seeking to register. They have to be approved by the Guardian Council which, in the last elections in 2017, approved only six of 1,300 applicants.
Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani cannot run as he has already completed two terms. Raisi’s candidature could raise hackles, more so given his role in sentencing thousands of political prisoners to mass executions in the late 1980s.