One day before registration ends in Islamic Republic of Iran’s 2021 election, party heavyweights still no-shows

The number-one choices of the Principlist and Reformist political camps for candidacy in Iran’s 2021 presidential election have yet to put down their names for the race, one day before the registration of hopefuls officially ends.

Ebrahim Raeisi, the current chief of the Iranian Judiciary and the favorite candidate of the Principlist camp, and Es’haq Jahangiri, Iran’s vice president and the top choice of the Reformists, did not show up for registration at the election headquarters in Tehran on Friday (May 14), the fourth day of registration.

That leaves them with only one more day to go through the official procedure required before they can run.

Manouchehr Mottaki, the spokesperson for the Unity Council of Principlists, had announced that Raeisi would register on Thursday. The top Principlist body did not comment on why the Iranian Judiciary chief did not register despite that announcement.

Jahangiri, meanwhile, is said to be planning to register on Saturday.

Neither Raeisi nor Jahangiri has publicly confirmed — or denied — that they would be running for president, despite the clamor from their respective political bases. Both have faced mounting appeals over the past weeks to join the race.

Raeisi ran in the 2017 presidential election, where he lost to incumbent Hassan Rouhani. Jahangiri, too, participated in the election four years ago but dropped out just before Election Day in favor of Rouhani.

Meanwhile on Friday, a handful of other figures from the two political camps registered at the Interior Ministry in Tehran. Fereydoun Abbasi, a former director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister, were among the biggest names.

Among the other luminaries who have already registered are Rostam Qassemi, Hossein Dehqan, and Saeed Mohammad, all of them former commanders at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who was the top choice of the Reformist camp, officially announced on Wednesday that he would not be running, turning the spotlight on Jahangiri.

Former Parliament Speaker and another favorite of the Principlist camp Ali Larijani has also yet to put his name down.

Once hopefuls have registered, they will be subject to vetting by Iran’s Constitutional Council, a process that will take another five days. Iran’s 13th presidential election will be held on June 18.

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