February 4, 2013

The Islamic Republic of Iran. Presidential Elections: Has the Countdown Started?

The Islamic Republic of Iran has started preparing for the 11th presidential election scheduled for the 14th of June 2013. One of their characteristics is that on the same day the city’s government bodies will be elected. 






Шестой президент Ирана М. Ахмадинежад
The 6-th President of Iran Mahmud Ahmadinejad

The sixth Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is in this post for the second time, and, according to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran, cannot be reelected. The official registration of presidential candidates will be held from 7 to 11 May 2013, with subsequent approval by the Council of observers.

In October 2012, amendments to the Law on Presidential Elections of the Islamic Republic of Iran were adopted. In particular, a presidential candidate cannot be younger than 45 or older than 75 years. Besides, a higher education (Master's degree at least) — the traditional religious or secular — and 100 recommendations of prominent political figures are a must. On the 2nd of December, 2012 the Majlis (Parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran approved these requirements without comment.

Before the beginning of the presidential nomination race each candidate has to be approved of 25 experts confirming that he is a believer, and 100 members of Parliament should confirm that the candidate is an active participant in the political life of the country. It should be noted that according to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, not the President is the de facto head of state, but the elected for life Rahbar (Supreme Leader). Currently it is Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

In accordance with the law of Iran, in December 2012, the Chairman of the Central Executive Council of the Iranian presidential election named the Council members responsible for planning and organizing (but not for the conduct of) elections, namely:

  1. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati — Head of the Council
  2. Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi — a cleric, a member of the Assembly of Experts of Iran.
  3. Hojjat-al-Islam Saeed Ibragim Raise — a member of the Council of Experts.
  4. Mohammad Alizade — Vice-Head of the Juridical Council, a lawyer of the Council of observers.
  5. Abbas Ali Kadhodae — spokesman of the Council of Observers.
  6. Mohsen Esmaili — a lawyer.
  7. Mohammad Reza Mirshams — a lawyer of the Council of Observers.
Rahbar of IRI Аyatollah Saeed Аli Кhamenei
Rahbar of IRI Аyatollah Saeed Аli Кhamenei

The head of the parliamentary commission Amir Hojaste announced that during the presidential campaign of 2013 there will be no live televising of candidate debates. Majlis of Iran took this decision without any explanation. Thus, the only and the last live televised debates were held on the eve of the 2009 presidential election, when M.Ahmadinezhat was reelected for a second term.

On the 24th of January, 2013 the Iranian news agency “iranmilitarynews.com” published the list of Conservative candidates for the presidential elections. There are seven such candidates:

  1. Ali Akbar Velayati
  2. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
  3. Manouchehr Mottaki
  4. Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel
  5. Mohsen Rezaei
  6. Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
  7. Saeed Jalili


 Let us consider in more detail the candidates for the presidency:


Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati

Doctor Ali Akbar Velayati
Doctor Ali Akbar Velayati
iranmilitarynews. сom

Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati was born in 1945 in Shamiran, Tehran, 68 years old. A University graduate. He studied at privileged secondary schools of Tehran "Bahram" ,"Nader Ashraf" and "Jam al-Golhak".

In 1971 he graduated from the Medical Faculty of Pediatrics of University of Tehran. In 1974, he studied at the Special Faculty of Infectious Diseases of the Medical Center. In 1977 he studied in the U.S., and received his doctorate at the Department of Infectious Diseases. Professor, Dean of the Medical Faculty.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1978, he for some time was a member of the Party of the Islamic Revolution, and was elected a deputy of the Majlis of the first convocation.

Had been:

  • Deputy Minister of Health;
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Association of Physicians;
  • Member of the Committee on Health.

In 1981, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, in which position he had been during the war with Iraq and the economic blockade, i.e. for 16 years!

In 1997 he was appointed advisor to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution's foreign policy. He is the oldest and most experienced diplomat of Iran. Velayati is a member of the Mediation Council of Iran and is considered a person of Ali Akbar Hashimi-Rafsanjiani. By the way, in the presidential election of 2005, he withdrew his candidacy in favor of Rafsanjiani, but, unfortunately, they both lost the elections.

He is fluent in English.

Among the radicals A.Velayati is believed to have a good chance in the elections, and he has advantages in influencing the situation in the situation of an increasing international pressure on Iran. Actually, Velayati is a political figure with the position of a leader. He is well accepted by the radical traditionists (party "Hezb-e motalefe", "Union of Combatant Clergy" and "Union Research Center of Qom theologians").

To this day, to some people in Iran, Velayati’s name associates with the murder of four Iranian leaders of Kurdish movement on the 17th of September 1992 in Mykonos café in Berlin. Several high officials voted for carrying out this action, among them — President Hashemi Rafsanjiani, Minister of Information (Intelligence) Ali Fallahiyan and Foreign Minister Velayati (though he denies this). Despite this, Iranian analysts see him as a politician that can overcome the domestic and outer challenges standing before IRI. They believe that if he wins, Velayati will form a coalition government, which will include representatives of all groups and parties of Iran, some leading figures. And this government will lead the country out of the deep crisis. At the same time, Velayati has certain authority among the young radical movements that are considered as the initiators of the latest developments in Iran and the members of the "Council of the interaction of forces of the Islamic Revolution", — "Union of the followers of the Islamic Revolution", to be exact. He also has influence on some members of the "Union for defense of Islamic values."

A strong politician, with the experience of political activity in Iran, he has a very good chance to win. According to the Iranian political analyst, Professor Sadegh Zibakalam, Velayati is number one on the list of candidates.

It should be noted that the Conservatives have repeatedly tried to enter the dialogue with the U.S. through Velayati. However, careful in official statements, he does not confirm or deny the possibility of his participation in the elections. However, at the moment his activity is increasing during public appearances, participation in different conferences.

Ali Akbar Velayati re-opened his website, closed after the 2005 elections. Today we know that Ali Velayati, Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel and M. Ghalibaf plan to form a coalition, and one of them will be a representative of the conservatives, though Haddad Adel denies this.


Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
iranmilitarynews. сom

Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf was born, by the Iranian calendar, in 1340 (in 1961/1962) in Mashhad, north-eastern Iran, 51 years old.

When Iran's Islamic revolution took place, Qalibaf was 17. In autumn of 1980, he graduated from the school of mathematics and went to the front as a volunteer. At the age of 22, he took command of the division, "Nasr" (Khorasan province, Horasan), which was part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

After the Iran-Iraq war, Mohammad Ghalibaf briefly served at the "Hatem al-Anbia" military — engineering base.

Simultaneously with the service in the IRGC, Qalibaf continued his studies at the University of Tehran. In 1994, he graduated from the Faculty of Political Science and in 2001 at the Pedagogical University of Tehran he got a PhD degree in specialty "Political Science."

Until June of 2000 Qalibaf had been heading the Air Forces of the Revolutionary Guards of Islamic Revolution, and later was appointed commander of LEF (Low Enforcement Forces) (Police) of Iran. In 2005, by the decree of the President of Iran, Ghalibaf was appointed a Special Representative and Head of Staff of the Iranian Headquarters on struggle against goods and currency smuggle.

M. Ghalibaf was one of 24 high-ranked commanders of the IRGC, who in July, 1999, wrote a letter to President M. Khatami demanding to solve the problem of the demonstrations of students. Otherwise, the IRGC was ready to take over the responsibility for the consequences within the framework of its authority.

Under the leadership of Ghalibaf Security Forces were able to raise their authority in the eyes of the population. Iranian police commander Ghalibaf known in Iran for his having rebuilt and extensively modernized the police, created a system of emergency response (system 110, an analog of 102). It is thanks to him that during students’ demonstrations in 2003 no one died. But he is thought to be responsible for the persecution of Iran's journalists and intellectuals. M. Ghalibaf also managed to neutralize the influence of various political parties and factions in the LEF (Low Enforcement Forces).

Main attention in his pre-election campaign M. Ghalibaf pays to the following three issues: the economy, international relations, and social issues. According to him, Iran's economy is in stagnation, and, taking into consideration the geographical location, the country is able to play a greater role in the region and the world at large. Ghalibaf is sure that the accumulated social problems need to be solved immediately.

Tehran mayor Mohammad Baghеr Ghalibaf: Evin prison will be converted to а park

When Qalibaf was elected Mayor of Tehran, the infamous prison "Evin" was removed from the city. A park for citizens took its place. He also created a website — http://www.ghalibaf.ir to communicate with voters.


Manouchehr Mottaki

Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki
iranmilitarynews. сom

Manouchehr Mottaki was born in 1953 in Bandar Gaz (Golestan Province), 60 years old. He graduated from the Bangalore University (Bangalore, India), in 1976. He has Bachelor degree in Sociology. He got a specialist degree in international relations in 1991 and a master's degree in international relations at the University of Tehran in 1996.

 He was a deputy of the Majlis of the first convocation (1980–1984).Then for more than 17 years he had worked in the diplomatic service:

  • 1984 — Secretary of the Political Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • 1985–1989 — Iranian Ambassador to Turkey;
  • 1989 — Director of the Department of Western European Affairs of Iran;
  • 1990–1991 — Deputy Foreign Minister for International Affairs;
  • 1992–1993 — Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal, Consular and Parliamentary Affairs;
  • 1994–1999 — Iranian Ambassador to Japan;
  • 1999–2000 — Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  • 2001–2003 — Deputy Chairman of the Organization of Cultural and Islamic Relations;
  • 2004 — Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Majlis (seventh convocation) of IRI Commission on foreign policy and national security.

He is close to the Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, has friendly relations with the Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. Mottaki got his positive image when President Ahmadinejad dismissed him from his post in December 2010 for "non-Islamic position."

Mottaki also has his own website — http://www.mottaki.ir


Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel
Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel
iranmilitarynews. сom

Dr. Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel

Dr. Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel was born in 1945, represents a political bloc of radicals "Abadegaran", 68 years old.

He is a Majlis deputy from Teheran. He was a member of the Committee on Social Affairs, a member of the Mediation Council of Iran, a professor of philosophy and literature at Tehran University, the Deputy Minister of Islamic Guidance, and the Head of the seminar at Kuma theological center.

He is an active supporter of the Conservative wing of the Parliament, was a member of parliament of the 6th convocation, a member of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, a member of the High Council of Culture and Islamic Relations.

For 10 years he had worked in the Ministry of Education, at the same time being a member of the Persian Language and Philology Council, he is widely known as an active supporter of the struggle for the purity of the Persian language.

Is a relative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (according to the official information, Haddad-Adel's daughter married the son of Ayatollah — Mojatba Khamenei) and is considered one of his closest associates and followers.

His scientific publications are as follows: 17 textbooks, 5 scientific works on philosophy, religion and sociology, and 190 articles on various subjects. He was a scientific adviser on six volumes of the Encyclopedia of the Islamic world.

In 1989 he was awarded a "Book of the Year” prize.

Speaks Arabic, French, and English fluently.


Mohsen Rezai

Mohsen Rezai
Mohsen Rezai
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Division General of IRGC Mohsen Rezai, the former Commander of the IRGC, the Secretary of the Conciliation Council of Iran.

Born in 1952 in Masdzhete-Soleiman (Khuzestan province), 61 years old. After leaving school in 1974 Rezaei entered Tehran University of Science and Industry. He has a higher education and a degree in political sciences. During his studies, he was actively involved in politics. He is one of the founders of the "Mujahideen of the Islamic Revolution." He heads the radical Islamic group "Ansar al-Hezbollah"

Prior to 1979, he actively participated in the activities of “Mellal al-Islam”. He was arrested more than once by Shah's regime for his political activities.

He took part in the fighting in groups of the PLO “Fath”, led the combat training of Iranian students in exile. Since February 1979 headed the Islamic propaganda department of the Central Headquarters of IRGC. From 1981 to 1997 (for 16 years) he was the Commander of the IRGC.

After the Iran-Iraq war, he continued his studies and earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Tehran.

He enjoyed the personal confidence of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Imam Ruholla Homeini. During Rezai’s commanding the IRGC became a mighty battle-worthy organization. He proved to be a capable and experienced organizer of the population during the Iran-Iraq war.

He is a strong influential political figure. The only Iranian, who has been awarded the gold medal "For the conquest" three times.

In the days of his commanding the IRGC, Mohsen Rezai founded the Imam Hossein University, Bagiyatulla Medical University, as well as the faculty of IRGC commanders. In 1988/89 Rezai established a military-engineering base "Hatem al-Anbiya."

After leaving the IRGC, M. Rezai joined the "Assembly on Determination of the Benefits of Regime" and headed its commission on macroeconomics.

He has extremely conservative views. In recent years his name has been mentioned several times in connection with the suppression of student demonstrations by militias from the "Ansar al Hezbollah" organization.

At the moment, he is the Secretary of the State Expediency Council. He categorically denies his being supported by the military, and not just by the IRGC. Being an active supporter of the negotiations with the EU on the solving of the "Iranian nuclear issue", he believes that Tehran compromises "too much" to the EU.

He participated in the previous presidential elections in 2005, but withdrew his candidature before the election in favor of Hashemi Rafsanjani, for which action he got a nickname "Trojan Horse of Hashemi Rafsanjani." In the 2009 presidential elections he did not participate. He is a friend of the former President Khatami.

There is some concern, that the Western countries will not accept him as the President of Iran, because once M. Rezai was accused of planning and carrying out by IRGC agents the operation of destroying the Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994. According to official information, M. Rezaei is still on the "Red List" of Interpol.

On the 3rd of January, 2013, in Zurich, there was a meeting of the Foreign Minister of Argentine Hector Timerman with the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, during which they discussed the procedure of taking off the accusations from M. Rezai for his crimes. According to G.Timerman, the talks were "very productive”.

M. Rezai also has a website, rezaee.ir, and he works closely with the tabnak.ir news agency.


Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
iranmilitarynews. сom

Born in 1959 (54 years old) in the city of Qom. Got religious education in the madrasas of Qom, Mashhad, Iran. He holds a doctorate in theology.

He had held the following positions:

  • 1979-1986 — Prosecutor of the Revolutionary Court in the province of Khuzestan (Huzestan), the prosecutor of the Revolutionary courts in the cities of Bandar Abbas (Bandar-Abbas), Kermanshahr (Kermanshahr), Mashhad (Mashhad);
  • 1986 — the military prosecutor in the western provinces of Iran;
  • 1986-1990 — Deputy Intelligence Minister of Iran;
  • 1990- Head of Foreign Intelligence;
  • Since 1987 — Member of "Zohra Union", a member of the District Council of the Saliman mosque.
  • C 1996 — a member and then chairman of the board of trustees of the Secretariat of the Central Archives of Iran.
  • Since 2001 — the Head of the political and social division of the Supreme Leader's Office.
  • Since 2002 he has taught at the University of Imam Sadeq.
  • 2005 — 2009 — Minister of Internal Affairs of Iran.

He is known as a strong and influential politician. During the presidential elections in 2009 he could win, but withdrew his candidature.

He is currently the Head of Iran's National Inspection Organization.

Iranian reformists accused him of having links with corrupt forces in Iran.

In December 2012, he announced his intentions to take part in the presidential elections of 2013 and announced his candidacy. In particular, he stated that he knew the strengths and weaknesses of the current system in Iran and to offer "constructive solutions".


Saeed Jalili

Saeed Jalili
Saeed Jalili
iranmilitarynews. сom

Saeed Jalili was born on the 6th of September, 1965 (48 years old) in the city of Mashhad.

Received his higher education at the "Imam Sadeq" university. Doctor of Political Science and Theology. After graduation until 1989 he was engaged in teaching.

Prior to 2005, he served as Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran for Europe and America.

Since 2005 — Advisor to the President of Iran.

On October 20, 2007 — Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. He is considered a major figure in the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Veteran of IRGC, during the Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988 he was seriously wounded and lost his right foot.

Fluent in English and Arabic.

Thus, since the publication of the list of candidates to the post of president from the Conservatives, the 2013 election campaign in Iran has started.

It is too early to make even most general predictions about the winner.


"Borysfen Intel" will inform about the preparations for the elections in Iran in the materials that follow, after the official registration of presidential candidates.

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