Iran’s Conservatives Clear the Path to the Presidency

MIN READMay 25, 2021 | 21:06 GMT

Ebrahim Raisi greets journalists in Tehran on May 15, 2021, upon arriving at Iran's Interior Ministry to submit his candidacy for the presidential election.

(Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

Iran’s unelected institutions are clearing the path for Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi to win the June 18 presidential election and possibly succeed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. As president, Raisi would be less apt to pursue domestic reforms, leaving little room for consensus with the West on issues that go significantly beyond the current scope of nuclear talks. On May 25, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that the hard-line-dominated Guardian Council had approved Raisi and six other candidates to run in the election, kicking off the formal campaign season. Of the approved moderate and reformist candidates, none appear to be popular or high-profile enough to seriously challenge Raisi, who finished second to President Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 election. Several of the conservatives approved to run in the race are also expected to drop out in favor of Raisi before the election is held. Notably, the Guardian Council did not approve former...

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