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Irans presidential poll set for June 17

Irans presidential poll set for June 17 -: "
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Irans presidential poll set for June 17
1/1/2005 3:00:00 PM GMT

Elham said that Iran’s Guardian Council agreed that the presidential elections be held on June 17.\Iran’s Guardian Council (GC) has agreed that the presidential elections be held on June 17, 2005, GC spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, said on Saturday.

The Guardians Council is a conservative-held monitoring body that vets legislation, candidates for public office and polls. It had refused earlier proposals from the interior ministry for the elections to be held in mid-May.

Elham said during his weekly press briefing that the council also approved the date of the parliamentary elections, noting that it will be held on the same day as the presidential polls.

Many influential conservative politicians have already entered the presidential race to replace President Mohammad Khatami, who served two consecutive terms and is banned by the constitution from a third presidential term.

Peace Prize Laureate, Iranian Shririn Ebadi, will also run for presidency in the upcoming elections.

14 groups such as the Council in Defense of Prisoners' Rights as well as independent human rights activists will set up a coalition to support Ebadi's candidacy.

Former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, currently a senior advisor to supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced that he will run for presidency. Also Mohsen Rezai, a former chief of the Revolutionary Guards, and Ali Larijani, the longtime head of Iran's state broadcast media, will join the race.

Iran’s senior national security official and nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, said that he was considering joining the list of presidential candidates, while former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, considers participation but hasn’t yet declared his final decision.

The Islamic republic’s main reform party, the Participation Front (IIPF) nominated former higher education minister, Mostafa Moin, as its official candidate, while Vice President, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, joined the presidential race.

Former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karoubi, hasn’t yet decided whether to stand or not."