Registration for Iran's snap elections on June 28 will commence on Thursday, May 30, and will remain open for five days. As in previous elections, some candidates may wait until the last minute to officially register.

Here are some key figures likely to compete in the elections, pending approval by the Guardian Council, an unelected body filled with loyalists of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Saeed Jalili

Saeed Jalili

On Sunday, the office of the 67-year-old hardliner announced his intention to run for the presidency. The former nuclear negotiator, who previously (and unsuccessfully) ran in 2013 against Hassan Rouhani and again in 2021 before withdrawing in favor of Raisi, formed a "shadow government" after his 2013 defeat. He maintained this "shadow government" under Raisi, where he is believed to have wielded significant influence.

Since 2008, Jalili has represented Khamenei in the Supreme National Security Council, where he was secretary from 2007 to 2013 under President Ahmadinejad. Many Iranians believe he is responsible for the failure of the 2015 nuclear deal with the West and the subsequent international sanctions.

Jalili is a devoted disciple of the late Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, whose ultra-hardliner followers wield significant influence in the parliament, Raisi's administration, and the state broadcaster (IRIB). Although he does not publicly support any political party, he is widely believed to align with the ultra-hardliner Paydari (Steadfastness) Party.

Jalili has close ties with Jebhe-ye Sobh-e Iran (Iran Morning Front), led by the controversial Ali-Akbar Raefipour, popular among ultra-hardliner youth. The group, which describes itself as "anti-Zionism, humanism, and FreeMasonry," is known for its corruption revelations against Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf and his allies.

In 2021, Jalili proposed "The One Plan" to distribute energy subsidies equally to all Iranians, regardless of income, instead of the current income-based cash subsidies. He introduced the "One" unit, which could be used to buy fuel or electricity, and argued that it would allow individuals to sell saved units at any price or treat them as investments. The plan has not been implemented.

His supporters praise him as a "champion of transparency" and an anti-corruption politician with a simple lifestyle.

Masoud Pezeshkian

Masoud Pezeshkian

The ‘reformist’ lawmaker from Tabriz, East Azerbaijan's capital, announced his decision to run on Sunday. He previously registered for the presidency in 2013 but withdrew and registered again in 2020, only to be disqualified by the Guardian Council.

He claims that various people informed him he would not have been allowed to run in the March parliamentary elections without Khamenei's recommendation for approval, though he is uncertain about this.

Pezeshkian, one of the few tolerated reformists, served as health minister under Mohammad Khatami and as first deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020. The 70-year-old heart surgeon is popular in his constituency, where he has been repeatedly elected since 2008.

Pezeshkian's popularity in his constituency partly stems from his support for teaching Turki, the Turkic language spoken in his province and several others, in schools.

He occasionally criticizes authorities for extreme measures against women regarding hijab and protesters. At the time of his registration, he stated that his candidacy aimed to “increase voter turnout.”

Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf

Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf

This week, Ghalibaf won nearly 70% of the vote, defeating the ultra-hardliner Paydari Party’s Mojtaba Zolnuri (Zolnouri) and pragmatist conservative Manouchehr Mottaki, leading to his reinstatement as Speaker of the Parliament.

Ghalibaf came fourth in the March 1 parliamentary elections in Tehran, with his support for speakership dropping by 16% compared to four years ago. His win on Tuesday, however, may embolden him to run for the presidency. This victory ensures he can return to parliament and retain the speakership if he does not become president.

A perennial candidate, Ghalibaf ran unsuccessfully in the 2005 presidential election (won by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), came second to Hassan Rouhani in 2013, and withdrew in favor of Ebrahim Raisi in 2017 (Rouhani won again). He was reportedly supported by the slain IRGC Qods Force commander, Ghasem Soleimani.

The 63-year-old politician and former Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander, police chief and mayor of Tehran and his immediate family and his allies have been accused of a host of corruption, particularly by ultra-hardliners.

Ali Larijani

Ali Larijani

"Let's see what happens," said 66-year-old moderate conservative Ali Larijani, former Parliament Speaker, when asked about his intention to run on Monday. He is believed to be seeking assurances from the Supreme Leader that he will not be disqualified again.

Larijani, an insider for many years without political party affiliation, was a top figure in the Islamist political right, known as the Principlist camp. Khamenei appointed him to several high positions, including chief of the state broadcaster (IRIB) and various state councils. He served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and Iran's top nuclear negotiator from 2005 to 2007. Currently, he is a member of the Expediency Council and an adviser to Khamenei.

Larijani was barred by the Guardian Council from running against Ebrahim Raisi in 2021, allegedly because his daughter resided in the U.S. Before the elections, Khamenei called this disqualification an "injustice" without naming him, but did not reinstate Larijani through a state edict, as many had expected.

Larijani wrote a letter to Khamenei, thanking him for criticizing the disqualification and urging the Council to exonerate him. Despite Larijani's repeated demands for the Council to reveal the real reasons for his disqualification, this never happened.

Larijani has kept a low profile since then. Before the March parliamentary vote, ultra-hardliners spread a rumor that he was trying to lead an electoral block. In a brief letter, he refuted this, stating they could not "create fake rivalry" and interest in the elections through such rumors.

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

According to Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, former chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, former moderate president Hassan Rouhani “may not be too reluctant” to run.

Rouhani has not yet commented on the snap elections or his decision to stand.

Twice president, the 75-year-old also served as secretary and chairman of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for 24 years. In January, the Guardian Council barred him from running for the Assembly of Experts, where he had been a member since 1992.

Rouhani is closely associated with the 2015 nuclear deal, which initially received Khamenei’s blessing and aimed to establish direct talks with the United States. Hardliner opponents label the deal a "great treason."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad, 63, has recently increased his public appearances but speaks cautiously about running. He states that his candidacy requires “comprehensive investigations” due to the “particular sensitivities” involved, possibly referring to his need for assurances that he won't be disqualified as he was in 2017.

Twice in the past few days, social media accounts representing Ahmadinejad have posted videos of him outside his house in eastern Tehran, speaking to supporters who "insist" he should run for president again. If approved, his candidacy could potentially increase voter turnout.

In February, Ahmadinejad’s former adviser Abbas Amirifar stated that Ahmadinejad was considering a 2025 presidential run but noted he would likely be disqualified by the Guardian Council if he registered.

Ahmadinejad dramatically fell out of Khamenei’s favor in 2011 after quitting work for eleven days in protest of Khamenei reinstating interior minister Heydar Moslehi, whom Ahmadinejad had fired. This led to Ahmadinejad and his supporters being harshly labeled the “deviant current” by Khamenei loyalists, who also accused him of "turning secular."

Ebrahim Raisi employed several of Ahmadinejad’s former allies in his cabinet, including Ahmad Vahidi (Interior Minister), Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (Foreign Affairs Minister), Javad Owji (Oil Minister), and Mehrdad Bazrpash (Minister of Roads and Urban Development). Bazrpash is also believed to be aspiring for the presidency.

Ahmadinejad and his core supporters are known for their own version of the apocalyptic Shia cult of the 12th Imam, Mahdi, believed to be in occultation by divine will since 941 CE.

The controversial former president, known for his Holocaust denial and enmity with Israel, has so far remained silent on the Gaza-Israel war and Iran’s own nationwide Woman, Life, Freedom protests of 2022-2023.

Ahmadinejad and his supporters are known for ruthless "revelations" against rivals. Many believe he holds corruption evidence against the ruling establishment, which he uses to intimidate authorities into tolerating him.

Sadegh Mahsouli

Sadegh Mahsouli

On Monday, the IRGC-linked Tasnim News Agency claimed that Sadegh Mahsouli, secretary general of the ultra-hardliner Paydari Party, has decided to run in the snap elections.

Mahsouli, a former IRGC officer and business tycoon, served in then-President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet as Minister of Interior and Minister of Welfare and Social Security. Once a close ally of the former president, Mahsouli distanced himself after Ahmadinejad's falling out with Khamenei.

While maintaining a rather low profile, Mahsouli's party extends its influence across government institutions, including President Raisi's administration. Its members, forming a significant minority in parliament, often lead amid the limited presence of established conservative and reformist parties.

Mahsouli's party faced a significant defeat in the parliamentary speakership vote on Tuesday, with its candidate, Mojtaba Zolnuri, receiving only 20% of lawmakers' votes compared to Ghalibaf's 70%.

Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi

Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi

Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi, former Communications Minister under moderate Hassan Rouhani, has neither confirmed nor denied intentions to run.

On Monday, the 43-year-old stated that he wouldn't feel obligated to run if “worthy people with the ability of running the country [efficiently] enter the election scene”, while adding that people should feel personally “prepared” to run for the office.

Azari-Jahromi, an electrical engineer, dubbed the "Young Minister," advocates for fast internet access for all Iranians, free internet for students, expanded bandwidth, and lifting bans on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), Telegram, and Instagram.

Yet, many hold him responsible for the Islamic Republic’s repressive internet censorship and disruption of internet connectivity during the 2019 anti-government protests. He was designated by the US Treasury in November of the same year.

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