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Iran's Presidential Election Set For 17 June

2 January 2005 -- Iran's governmental oversight body, the Guardians Council, has approved holding Iran's presidential election on 17 June.

The council rejected earlier proposals from the Interior Ministry for the vote to be held in mid-May.

Several prominent conservative politicians have already entered the race to replace incumbent reformist President Mohammad Khatami. Khatami has served two consecutive terms as president and is barred by the constitution from standing again.

Long-serving former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, now a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has announced he intends to stand, as has Mohsen Rezai, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards and Ali Larijani, the long-time boss of Iran's state broadcast media.

On the reformist side, former Higher Education Minister Mustafa Moin has been nominated as the candidate of the Islamic Republic's main reform party, the Participation Front (IIPF), while incumbent Vice President Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh has also stepped in.