Four Iranian presidential candidates begin campaigning

Photo: Four Iranian presidential candidates begin campaigning / Politics

Four out of the eight Iranian presidential candidates approved by the country's Guardian Council have officially started campaigning, Press TV reported.

Presidential candidate, Saeed Jalili, who is the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, kicked off his campaign on Friday.

Jalili put ethics and foreign policy at top of his agenda as he spoke to his supporters about his programs, beliefs and ideals during his first campaign gathering since his approval as a candidate.

"We announced numerous times that our aim is to expand Islam's influence and reduce the influence of the imperialists.... now if American puppets believe that this is expansionism and is a step toward creating a big empire, then let them think what they will," Jalili said.

Another Principlist candidate, Ali-Akbar Velayati, who is a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei, also kicked of his campaign.

Independent candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Council, kicked of his campaign on Friday as he spoke to his supporters about his programs at Laleh Park in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Tehran Mayor, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf left the capital for Bushehr to kick of his presidential campaign in the southern Iranian city.

Reformist presidential candidate and former First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Aref started his campaign on Monday at Tehran University.

Former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi, the director of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council Hassan Rohani and lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel are expected to start their campaigns in the coming days.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election, and the Guardian Council vets the candidates.

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