The leader of Iran’s Sunni population Mowlavi Abdolhamid

Prominent Cleric Slams Exclusion of Sunni Politician From Iran's Presidential Race

Friday, 06/14/2024

Iran’s Sunni leader Mowlavi Abdolhamid spoke out against the exclusion of a prominent Sunni figure from the presidential race.

A vocal critic of the government's ineffectiveness and systemic discrimination, he blasted the rejection of the Sunni candidate as a sign for the lack of progress toward inclusivity within the establishment.

During his Friday prayer sermons in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, he emphasized that "policy changes and improved coordination among governing bodies are necessary to make the president's actions effective and avoid repetitive outcomes."

Jalal Jalalizadeh, a Sunni former representative of Sanandaj in the Iranian parliament, was blocked from running in the elections.

The unelected 12-member Guardian Council, responsible for vetting candidates, approved only six out of over 80 who applied to run, disqualifying prominent figures such as former parliament speaker Ali Larijani and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran is preparing for snap presidential elections following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19. Vice President Mohammad Mokhber currently serves as the acting president.

As Iran's most prominent Sunni cleric, Abdolhamid has consistently criticized the regime for its discriminatory policies against the Sunni population in political and social spheres.

Sunni Muslims make up around 10 percent of Iran's 88 million people, with many facing economic and political marginalization. They are primarily concentrated in border regions spanning from Sistan-Baluchestan in the southeast to Kurdistan in the northwest.

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