Iran’s former nuclear negotiator Larijani submits presidential bid

Ali Larijani, Iran’s former parliamentary speaker and chief nuclear negotiator, has submitted his candidacy to run for president, in a snap poll called after the unexpected death of the previous president in a helicopter accident.

The 66-year-old mathematician submitted his bid at the Iranian Interior Ministry on Friday.

Larijani has held several leading positions in recent years, including minister of culture. From 2005 to 2007, he led the Iranian delegation in negotiations surrounding the country’s controversial nuclear programme.

Although Larijani is considered an establishment insider, he has increasingly distanced himself from the country’s shift towards arch-conservatism in recent years. He is now seen as a moderate conservative and is also respected by the opposition as a critic of the government.

The politician’s critical views were also the main reason for his disqualification from the 2021 presidential election.

In Iranian political circles Larijani is considered a ‘secret favourite,’ because
he is recognized both within the system and in the reform camp.

He is seen as having sufficient experience to overcome the various crises in the country, in particular restarting nuclear negotiations with the West. For some, this is a top priority for the country, as a new nuclear deal is the only way to lift international sanctions and thus end the acute economic crisis of the last five years.

The presidential election was called after the previous incumbent, Ebrahim Raisi, died in a helicopter accident on May 19.

Source: Ghana News Agency