TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian judiciary official has warned candidates running in the forthcoming presidential election against crossing the “red lines” of the Islamic Republic.
Iranians are set to elect a successor to President Hassan Rouhani on June 18, amid discontent over the government’s handling of the economy.
The candidate-vetting Constitutional Council has approved seven candidates to run in the election.
“Candidates should not cross the system’s red lines in their campaigns and speeches,” said Tehran Attorney General Ali Alqassi-Mehr, quoted by Mizan Online, the judiciary’s official news agency.
Wrongdoers will be “confronted firmly”, he said, and warned in particular against any attacks on the “reputation” of the judiciary.
The head of the judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, is widely considered the favorite candidate in the race to the presidency. Raisi won 38 percent of the vote in the 2017 presidential election but was defeated by Rouhani.
The presidential election campaign officially kicked off on Friday.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday said candidates should focus on “youth unemployment” and economic woes of “the disadvantaged class”.
Presidential candidate Nasser Hemmati on Sunday described sanctions as one of the country’s “most fundamental problems,” blaming the restrictions for more than have of the economic woes facing the nation.
Hemmati, generally viewed as close to the Reformists, claimed that more than 50 percent of the current economic issues have been caused by the sanctions, which he said had “abruptly” cut the country’s foreign exchange earnings to one sixth of what they had been earlier.
Under such circumstance, “it is clear that the sanctions are effective. How could it be said that they are not effective?” said Hemmati, who was dismissed as the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on Sunday.
Hemmati said he decided to enter the fray since he believed this would be “the last chance” to solve the people’s problems, without elaborating.
“The sanctions have negatively affected the prices to a great extent. The bans have had the biggest impact on the country’s economy,” he said. “Some want to deny this, but they are wrong.”
Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, who hails from the Reformist camp but who has nevertheless not secured the solid support of the faction, write to the main Reformist body in the country to demand a meeting where he could present his presidential agenda.
Mehr-Alizadeh wrote in his letter, addressed to Behzad Nabavi, the chief of Iran’s Reform Front, that he would like to be given “an opportunity to participate in and present my plans at the meeting of the general assembly of the respected Front,” IRNA reported on Monday.