Profile: Masoud Pezeshkian, Lawmaker and Former Health Minister

By Press TV Website Staff

The Constitutional Council, Iran’s 12-member election supervisory body, approved six candidates on Saturday to run in the upcoming presidential vote after a meticulous vetting process.

Among the approved candidates is Masoud Pezeshkian, a former Minister of Health and a seasoned lawmaker who has also previously served as the deputy parliament speaker.

Iran is set to hold a snap presidential election on June 28, one year earlier than expected, following the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raeisi in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran on May 19.

The candidates approved by the country’s top vetting body will have two weeks for campaigning and presidential debates before the voting takes place later this month.

Born on September 29, 1954, in the city of Mahabad, West Azarbaijan province, Pezeshkian currently represents the northwestern city of Tabriz in the 12th Iranian parliament.

His political journey has been remarkable, rising through the ranks to hold the important cabinet portfolio of Health Minister under President Mohammad Khatami (2001-2005).

A seasoned parliamentarian, Pezeshkian was elected in the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th parliaments. Between 2016 and 2020, he also held the position of the first deputy speaker.

He previously ran for the presidency in 2013 and 2021 but both times failed to make headway.

A cardiac surgeon by training, Pezeshkian previously also served as the chancellor of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences and currently is a member of the academic staff at the prestigious university in northern Iran. 

After receiving approval from the country’s top election supervisory body to run in the June 28 election on Saturday, he took to X (formerly Twitter), using #For-Iran as his election slogan.

He introduced his plans, emphasizing the importance of entrusting tasks to experienced and knowledgeable individuals in his potential administration.

He also announced Javad Zarif, the former Iranian Foreign Minister, as his choice to head the country's foreign ministry, while vowing to implement the directives of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Pezeshkian officially joined the race for the top executive office on June 1, the third day of registration, at the Interior Ministry in Tehran, accompanied by a group of supporters.

He underscored the importance of unity and coherence among all political factions in the country, emphasizing the significance of competence, skill, and experience over political affiliations.

He also expressed condolences over the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raeisi and his companions in the helicopter crash, and emphasized adherence to the directives set forth by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the country’s constitution, urging their effective implementation.

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