AP — Eight candidates were approved Tuesday for Iran’s June 14 presidential election to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cannot run again because of term limits. But the official slate left off two prominent but divisive figures: former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad’s protege Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.
ALI AKBAR VELAYATI
Top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs. Velayati, 67, served as foreign minister during the 1980-88 war with Iraq and into the 1990s. He is a physician and runs a hospital in north Tehran. He was among the suspects named by Argentina in a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
MOHAMMAD BAGHER QALIBAF
Tehran mayor and former commander of the Revolutionary Guard during the Iran-Iraq war. Qalibaf, 51, is a pilot who enjoys good relations with Khamenei.
A former nuclear negotiator and Khamenei’s representative at the Supreme National Security Council, which also handles the nuclear dossier. Rowhani, 64, is a British-educated cleric.
MOHAMMAD REZA AREF
Liberal-leaning former vice president under reformist President Mohammad Khatami. Aref, 61, a former Tehran University chancellor, vowed to drop out of race if Khatami decides to run.
Former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guard. Rezaei, 58, ran in 2009, but finished fourth. He currently is secretary of the Expediency Council, which mediates between the parliament and Guardian Council.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator since 2007. Jalili, 47, began his career as a diplomat in 1991. He has the support of ultraconservative cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, who was previously seen as Ahmadinejad’s spiritual mentor.
GHOLAM ALI HADDAD ADEL
A 68-year-old former parliament speaker, who is currently a member of the Expediency Council and considered a strong conservative voice. His daughter is married to Khamenei’s son.
A former oil and telecommunications minister. Gharazi, 71, also served in parliament in the 1980s and ’90s. He is considered conservative and portrays himself as a steady-handed technocrat.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.