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Iran presidential election: who to watch

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By Euronews
Iran presidential election: who to watch

<p>With less than one month to go until its presidential election, Iran is gearing up for a political showdown.</p> <p>Incumbent pragmatist Hassan Rouhani is seeking a second term against hardline rivals and is seen as having a big chance. </p> <p>Iran’s Supreme Leader holds ultimate authority, but the vote will influence the image and policies of the Islamic Republic. </p> <p>Here’s our look at the main candidates to watch. </p> <h3>Hassan Rouhani</h3> <p>Hassan Rouhani is among six candidates cleared to run. A mid-ranking Shi’ite Muslim cleric, he came to power with a landslide victory in 2013 – promising to end Iran’s international isolation and to create a freer society. </p> <p>He has championed a nuclear deal that ended a stand-off with the West – and led to many sanctions being lifted in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme. </p> <p>But hardline rivals say he’s failed to revive the economy. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Iran seeks to further expand its relations with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eurasian?src=hash">#Eurasian</a> countries to develop <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/freetrade?src=hash">#freetrade</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Armenia?src=hash">#Armenia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kazakhstan?src=hash">#Kazakhstan</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kyrgyzstan?src=hash">#Kyrgyzstan</a> <a href="https://t.co/zTUcIdOBiP">pic.twitter.com/zTUcIdOBiP</a></p>— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) <a href="https://twitter.com/HassanRouhani/status/811646112893378560">21 December 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>Ebrahim Raisi</h3> <p>Another key election candidate is Ebrahim Raisi. A close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he’s viewed as the main hardline candidate challenging Rouhani. </p> <p>He has been a senior official for decades in the judiciary, which enforces clerical control of the country. </p> <p>Law professor Raisi has been critical of Rouhani’s economic record and portrays himself as a champion of the poor. </p> <p>He was appointed last year as the custodian of an organisation in charge of a multi-billion-euro religious foundation. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hard-line Iranian candidate <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EbrahimRaisi?src=hash">#EbrahimRaisi</a> says the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/US?src=hash">#US</a> should fear <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iran?src=hash">#Iran</a> <a href="https://t.co/tDyYZ0uo7r">https://t.co/tDyYZ0uo7r</a> <a href="https://t.co/qCAmxzLGwT">pic.twitter.com/qCAmxzLGwT</a></p>— Financial Express (@FinancialXpress) <a href="https://twitter.com/FinancialXpress/status/857462093875789825">27 April 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf</h3> <p>Another one to watch is former police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. </p> <p>Viewed as a pragmatic conservative, he’s been the mayor of Tehran since 2005.</p> <p>He has also criticised Rouhani’s economic policy – and has promised to more than double Iran’s income and tackle unemployment by creating five million jobs.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tehran?src=hash">#Tehran</a> Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf registers for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iran?src=hash">#Iran</a>'s upcoming presidential elections<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/irna?src=hash">#irna</a> <a href="https://t.co/KqeVhkmVps">pic.twitter.com/KqeVhkmVps</a></p>— <span class="caps">IRNA</span> News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) <a href="https://twitter.com/IrnaEnglish/status/853242297273769984">15 April 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>Eshaq Jahangiri</h3> <p>Eshaq Jahangiri is Iran’s first vice president. </p> <p>The moderate says he decided to run in the election to “stand by Rouhani and complement him.” There had been concerns that the incumbent might be disqualified. </p> <p>Jahangiri is expected to drop out to avoid a split in the moderate camp’s votes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iran?src=hash">#Iran</a>'s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri files for May 19 presidential elections <a href="https://t.co/Nn5EUDJShj">https://t.co/Nn5EUDJShj</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/irna?src=hash">#irna</a> <a href="https://t.co/sBOMkdCRNY">pic.twitter.com/sBOMkdCRNY</a></p>— <span class="caps">IRNA</span> News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) <a href="https://twitter.com/IrnaEnglish/status/853280382502014978">15 April 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>Other election facts</h3> <ul> <li>The vote happens on 19 May</li> </ul> <ul> <li>If no candidate wins at least 50 percent, plus one vote of all ballots cast, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates on the first Friday after the election results.</li> </ul>