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Ex-Iran parliament speaker Ali Larijani registers to run for president

A former speaker of Iran’s parliament registers to run in the Islamic Republic’s upcoming presidential election, becoming the first high-profile candidate to potentially back the policies of the outgoing administration that reached Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

The decision by Ali Larijani, long a prominent conservative voice who later allied himself with Iran’s relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, comes on the last day of registration for the June 18 election. While a panel overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately will approve candidates, Larijani has maintained close ties to the cleric over his decades in government.

In this Feb. 17, 2020, file photo, former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani speaks to journalists at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Journalists in Tehran watch Larijani, 63, register at the Interior Ministry, which oversees elections. He waves to onlookers after completing the process, his face covered by a blue surgical mask as Iran continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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