Iran’s parliament voted on Sunday with an overwhelming majority against a proposal to ban military personnel from running for president, amid speculation that several former and current military commanders intend to run in next year’s presidential election.
Iranian lawmakers rejected the proposal with 207 votes against, 25 in favor, and five abstentions, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
Opposing the proposal, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander and potential presidential candidate, said members of the armed forces could run for election after resigning from their military posts.
Iran is due to hold presidential elections in June 2021, with several former and current military officials said to eye the presidency.
Running for election is the “right” of military personnel, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Guardian Council, the body that vets all nominations, said on Saturday.
Military personnel who intend to run for election must first cut ties with their military institutions, Kadkhodaei added.
IRGC commander Hossein Dehghan, who is also a military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, has officially announced he will run in next year’s elections.
Other potential candidates with military backgrounds and ties to the IRGC include former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, head of the Mostazafan Foundation Parviz Fattah, former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezaei, and IRGC commander Saeed Mohammad, according to Iranian media.