Former speaker of Iran’s parliament Ali Larijani registered Saturday to run in the upcoming presidential election.
The decision by Larijani, long a prominent conservative voice who later allied himself with President Hassan Rouhani, came on the last day of registration for the June 18 election.
While a panel overseen by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ultimately will approve candidates, Larijani has maintained close ties to the cleric over his decades in government.
Journalists in Tehran watched Larijani, 63, register at the Interior Ministry, which oversees elections. He waved to onlookers after completing the process, his face covered by a blue surgical mask as Iran continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Larijani, a former commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, previously served as the minister of culture and Islamic guidance and as the head of Iran’s state broadcaster. Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for two years, and as a senior nuclear negotiator. He later became speaker of the Iranian parliament for some 12 years, stepping down in May 2020.
Larijani had an active role in signing a 25-year strategic agreement with China earlier this year. On Friday, as a sign of respect, Larijani reportedly asked permission to run from high-ranking clerics in Qom.
At the same time Larijani registered, so too did Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, the eldest son of the late former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.