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Iran Elections. President Died in Air Crash, Who Will Replace Him? Four Candidates

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Iranians are choosing a new head of state on Friday in early presidential elections. Four candidates are running, but one of them, former mayor of Tehran Mohammed Bagher Kalibaf, is considered the favorite.

Early voting began in Iran on Friday elections presidential. Iranians will choose a successor Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19. Voters can vote for one of four candidates loyal to Iran's supreme spiritual and political leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – three conservatives and one little-known reformer.

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Who is the new president of Iran?

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Experts say Mohammed Bagher Khalibaf, a former mayor of Tehran and current speaker of Iran's unicameral parliament, has the best chance of winning. Others seeking conservative voters include Sayed Jalili, a politician who served as a nuclear negotiator, and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former interior and justice minister.

Mohammed Bagher Kalibaf cast his vote in the presidential electionPAP/EPA/STRINGER

The fourth candidate and the only one considered a supporter of reforms is cardiac surgeon Masud Pezeszkian, who said in one of his recent speeches that Iran should return to the 2015 international nuclear agreement, which allows for increased control by Western countries over Iran's nuclear weapons development program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. .

According to the British “Guardian”, Jalili and Qalibaf failed to reach an agreement that would result in one of them withdrawing his candidacy. “Thanks to this failure, the only reformer candidate allowed to run, Masoud Pezeszkian, has a chance to get to the second round,” it said.

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Elections in Iran

All women and people calling for radical changes were excluded from running in the elections – as has been the case since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In Iran, the last word on all state matters is the 85-year-old supreme spiritual and political leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the president can influence the country's political course towards confrontation with the West or negotiations.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voted in the presidential electionPAP/EPA/PAGE

A total of 61 million citizens are eligible to vote. Analysts, however, fear low turnout during Friday's vote. In the March parliamentary elections, it was 41 percent, the lowest in Iran's history. In the capital Tehran, fewer than 10 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots.

Iranian presidential electionPAP/EPA/STRINGER

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Main image source: PAP/EPA/PAGE

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