Iran presidential candidates announced with nuclear deal, ayatollah's future at stake

Nearly 600 threw their hats in the ring. All but seven have been disqualified. According to former Iranian diplomat Mehrdad Khonsari, rage against the vetting machine is unprecedented. Both President Hassan Rouhani, whose vice president was barred from the short list, and Sadeq Larijani, from one of Iran’s most powerful families and whose brother was disqualified, have spoken out about the dearth of choice. Larijani, incidentally, is even on the very vetting organization, the Guardian Council, that he has lambasted.

And armchair consensus is that there is really only one name to watch: Ebrahim Raisi. Confidante of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Notorious for playing a role in the execution of 7,000 prisoners after the Iran-Iraq War. Chief justice of Iran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gives a live broadcast on state television on … November 03, 2020. (Photo by Iranian Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gives a live broadcast on state television on … November 03, 2020. (Photo by Iranian Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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