Iranian Judiciary Head Among Late Registrants For Presidential Election.

A hard-line cleric in charge of Iran's judiciary is among the final potential candidates who have registered to run in the country's upcoming presidential election.

Ebrahim Raisi, who has close ties to 82-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced plans to enter the race on May 15, the last day for potential candidates to register for the June 18 election.

The Guardians Council will vet the registrants and announce a final list of candidates on May 27.

Others who registered included Ali Larijani, a prominent conservative voice and former parliament speaker who later allied himself with outgoing President Hassan Rohani, who cannot run for another term.

Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, a reformist who is the eldest son of the late former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, also entered his name on May 15.

Several potential candidates have prominent backgrounds in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a paramilitary force answerable only to the supreme leader.

Former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad registered on May 12.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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