With half an hour left to register, Iran’s two most controversial candidates pledged to run for president over the weekend. The country now has to wait to hear which of the handful of hopefuls will be allowed to contest the June poll. NBC News’ Ali Arouzi reports from Tehran.
By Ali Arouzi, Correspondent, NBC News
Iran June 14 elections will showcase the country political system, which, not well understood by many in the West, Air Jordan Women Size combines strong Islamic theocracy with elements of democracy. A network of unelected institutions controlled by the powerful supreme leader is countered by a president and parliament elected by the people.
Here’s a guide to Iran’s labyrinthine governmental operations Air Jordan Future and a glimpse at some of the men hoping to occupy the top elected office in the country.
According Iran’s constitution, the most powerful political office in the Islamic Republic is that of the supreme leader. Since its inception after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the monarchy, two men have occupied the role the Islamic Republic founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, Jordan Retro 13 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The supreme leader appoints the head of the judiciary, six out of 12 members of the powerful Guardian Council, the armed forces commanders, the head of the country radio and television and Friday prayer leaders, who instruct the faithful in the performance of the Friday prayer in Iran. He also confirms the president’s election.
Supreme leader’s website via EPA
Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The president currently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is elected Air Jordan 14s for a four year term by popular vote, and can serve no more than two consecutive terms. After a term away he can run for president again.
The president heads the executive branch of government, and is responsible for ensuring the constitution is implemented.
Powerful clerical councils ultimately answer to the supreme leader. The supreme leader controls the armed forces and makes most of the decisions regarding security, defense and major foreign policy.
The president appoints and supervises ministers, coordinates government decisions, and selects government policies to be placed before the legislature, but ultimately his power is curtailed by the clerical bodies.
All presidential hopefuls have to be vetted by the Guardian Council, the most influential body in Iran. The Guardian Council will release a list of approved candidates culled from almost 700 who registered to the Ministry of Interior by May 21. The following list includes those thought to be most likely to make it onto the shortlist.
EPA, AP fileSupreme leader favorites
The first camp of contenders consists of the supreme leader inner circle and others perceived to be loyal to him.
Ali Akbar Velayati, currently the supreme leader adviser on international affairs, served as foreign minister under several presidents. He received a pediatrics degree from Johns Hopkins in 1974. Some observers believe that he lacks charisma when compared with others who are running.
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Tehran mayor, is a veteran of the Iran Iraq War. Since he became mayor in 2005, he has embarked on a series of ambitious civic projects that added to his popularity. He may be seen as too independent by conservative clerics.
Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, the speaker of parliament, is very much part of the supreme leader inner circle his daughter is married to the supreme leader son. But its not clear how much popular support he has.
Saeed Jalili is Iran chief nuclear negotiator. His loyalty to the supreme leader appears unwavering. The two men have been very close for the last 30 years, and Mashaei’s daughter married Ahmadinejad’s oldest son in 2008.
Conservative leaders in Iran have Nike LeBron 12 gone so far as branding Mashaei the head of deviant current within the government, a heretic and a foreign spy. Despite a chorus of disapproval for powerful members of the establishment Ahmadinejad has stayed loyal to him.
Ebrahim Noroozi / AP
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani waves to media as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday, May 11.