Iran to elect its new president on May 19

Tehran [Iran], May 19 : Iranians will cast their votes on May 19 to elect their 12th President that will have huge impact on their country's international ties and foreign policy.

President Hassan Rouhani and hardliner Ebrahim Raisi are the two main contenders that could determine the speed of economic and social reform.

The country's powerful 12-member Guardian Council of the Constitution, which has the authority to interpret the Islamic Republic's fundamental law.

The election is viewed as a referendum on the nuclear deal that Iran struck with world powers. Ebrahim Raeisi, custodian of Imam Reza (AS) holy shrine: He is a hardliner cleric and judge. He is allegedly involved in the 1988 mass execution of thousands of prisoners. He has the backing of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. He has pledged to support the poor with a monthly cash payment of (Dollar) 65. Other candidates in the fray are: Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former minister of culture and Islamic guidance Mostafa Mirsalim and former minister of physical education Mostafa Hashemi Taba, as well as President Hassan Rouhani .

Hassan Rouhani is a moderate and seeks re-election on the Iran nuclear deal and reviving the stalled economy.

The Trump administration has signaled that it would continue the Iran nuclear deal made under the Barack Obama administration for the meantime as the U.S.

is still forming a new comprehensive Iran policy. However, it will also impose some new sanctions against several Iranian individuals and four other organizations, including a China-based network that supplied missile-related items to a key Iranian defense entity, reports the Hill.

"The U.S. and its partners will continue to apply pressure on Iran to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone in Iran," said Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, who will be traveling with President Donald Trump to the Middle East at the end of the week.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution which led to the fall of the Pahlavi regime, Iran has held one election each year on average, all of which have witnessed large turnout of the people.

Over 56 million Iranians are eligible to vote in Iran's 12th presidential elections, according to Ali Asghar Ahmadi, head of the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry.

Source: ANI