Raisi Headed For Iranian Presidency As Poll Rivals Pull Out

Raisi headed for Iranian presidency as poll rivals pull out

Tehran, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Jun, 2021 ) :The field of candidates in Iran's presidential election thinned out Wednesday, two days before the vote in which a victory by cleric Ebrahim Raisi is widely seen as a foregone conclusion.

Three of the seven men, who had been approved to enter the race, pulled out, further bolstering the position of Raisi, 60.

Reformist Mohsen Mehralizadeh was first to leave the race on Wednesday, followed by Alireza Zakani and Saeed Jalili, who both pledged their support for the frontrunner.

The election comes as economically ailing and pandemic-hit Iran holds talks with world powers to revive the battered 2015 nuclear deal and seeks to end a punishing US sanctions regime imposed under former president Donald Trump.

The vote will choose a successor to Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration had agreed the deal.

This year he cannot run again, having served two consecutive four-year terms, and leaves office in August.

Ultimate power in Iran, where a revolution toppled the monarchy in 1979, lies with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the president has significant influence on issues from industrial policy to foreign affairs.

The expected winner, Raisi -- the country's judiciary chief and a cleric sporting a black turban and religious robe -- has been mentioned in Iranian media as a possible successor to Khamenei.

The supreme leader, in a televised speech, urged voters to come out in droves to elect "a powerful president" -- warning that "the Satanic power centres of the world" are trying to undermine the ballot.