SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iran’s Guardian Council said the vetting body will soon announce a review of candidates barred from this month’s presidential vote following the Supreme Leader’s intervention.
“The orders of the Supreme Leader are final and his ruling must be obeyed. The Guardian Council will soon announce its opinion, acknowledging that it is not immune to error,” council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodai said in a tweet on Friday, according to Reuters.
The Council approved just seven candidates out of 40 who met its basic criteria – in turn a small fraction of the 600 who had registered.
They included former chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, a conservative; former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezaei, a frequent presidential candidate; and current Central Bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati, a low-profile moderate.
The move was likely to boost the prospects of Raisi, a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But it may further dent the clerical rulers’ hopes of a high turnout in the June 18 vote, amid rising discontent over an economy crippled by U.S. sanctions.