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Campaigning begins for Iran’s presidential election

The combo photo shows Massoud Pezeshkian, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Alireza Zakani, Saeed Jalili, Mostafa Pourmohammadi and Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi (L-R) who were named by Iran's Interior Ministry to run in the 14th presidential election. (From ISNA)

Campaigning has officially started for Iran’s upcoming election, with six candidates vying to replace the late President Ebrahim Raeisi.

The period began on Sunday after the Interior Ministry announced a list of six hopefuls whose qualifications were approved by the Constitutional Council.

The campaign, which includes five live, televised debates on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), will continue until 24 hours before the election.

Iran will vote for a new president on June 28. The election was called after President Raeisi lost his life along with seven others on May 19, when a helicopter carrying them crashed into a mountainous area in northwest Iran amid foggy conditions.

The registration for the election concluded on June 3, with more than 80 candidates signing up to run in the vote.

The Constitutional Council, a 12-member election supervisory body, approved on Sunday the candidacies of Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, reformist lawmaker Masud Pezeshkian and ex-nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

The Council's list also included the names of former interior and justice minister Mostafa Purmohammadi, Head of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani.

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