Haddad-Adel Withdraws From Iranian Presidential Race

Iranian media report former Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel has withdrawn his candidacy from the country's June 14 presidential election.

In a statement published on June 10, the conservative candidate asked the voters to "strictly observe" the guidance of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when they vote.

Haddad-Adel, who is related by marriage to Khamenei, did not elaborate on his decision to quit.

On May 21, the Guardians Council, which supervises the electoral process, approved only eight of nearly 700 individuals who registered to be candidates.

The six remaining candidates are: chief nuclear negotiator Said Jalili; Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai; senior cleric and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani; Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf; former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi; and former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati.

University professor and former Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref announced his withdrawal from the race on June 11, suggesting the opposition hoped to unite its sympathizers behind Hassan Rohani.
Based on reporting by Mehr, IRNA, and Reuters