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The count-down in Iran has begun for next month’s presidential election, soon after the Guardian Council announced, on April 23, the final list of candidates eligible to run for upcoming election.
Recently, Iran’s constitutionally appointed body, the Guardian Council, revealed a list of eight candidates and clearing up any doubts about their candidacy for the coming election. Iran is preparing for the 11th presidential poll in the country’s history on June 14.
According to CNN, a total of 686 candidates are running for president this year, as current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not allowed to run for the third time as per Iranian constitution.
The Guardian Council is the nucleus of the political system. With twelve members, consisting of six theologians and six jurists, it wields power over the entire political establishment in the country.
Iran’s political set-up is centered on the supreme leader, who holds ultimate power in the Iranian political universe and is responsible for structuring general politics in the country. Currently, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran, since the death of Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989.
The last presidential election in Iran was held in 2009, when current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had secured the top seat with 62 percent of the vote cast. Iranian politics looks to be encircled by ideology on the one hand and requisites of political framework on the other.
Pinnacles of power under Iranian political set-up are vested with the supreme leader, who is the commander-in-chief; he appoints the leaders of the judiciary and also appoints the six members of the Guardian Council. The President under the Iranian constitution holds the second slot in the power hierarchy, and responsible for framing economic policies and administrative formalities.
During the last eight years under President Ahmadinejad’s reign the country’s international image has been damaged badly due to tension with the western world over its ambition towards nuclear program. As a consequence, the US and the EU slapped Iran with a series of financial punitive measures in the last two years.
Now, the key issue Iran faces is how to ease-out tensions connected with its nuclear program and find a golden mean between the toughest of embargoes and its nuclear ambition. Moreover, it’s a battle between nuclear capability and diplomatic solidarity.
According to BBC, the Guardian Council approved eight candidates to run for president.
This year’s presidential election brings lesser hope of revival of interests in establishing or building stronger relations with the West, because formulation of major policies is the court of the Supreme Leader. The nuclear impasse with the West may wither away if frequencies between the ideology of the Supreme leader and the urge of the new president get better relations, matched well.
Image credit: Iran Election 2013 via Facebook