After the recent helicopter crash that claimed the life of President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran is gearing up for an upcoming election to select his successor. The conservative faction is looking to garner backing from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the lead-up to the early vote on June 28, which has attracted a wide array of hopefuls from various political affiliations. The key question for these candidates revolves around how many of them will navigate the vetting process in the Islamic republic.

President Raisi, who had over a year remaining in his first term, tragically passed away on May 19 in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six others. Their funerals spanned multiple days and drew large numbers of mourners.

The June election is set to take place amidst ongoing turmoil, with the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and persistent diplomatic tensions related to Iran's nuclear program. With the ultimate decision-making authority resting with Khamenei, he has appointed Raisi's vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, aged 68, to oversee interim responsibilities in the lead-up to the June election.

Among the potential candidates, former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was among the earliest to declare his candidacy. Other contenders include moderate former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and centrist Ali Larijani, who previously held the position of parliament speaker. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is yet to confirm his intentions, stating that he is evaluating the circumstances before making a decision to register.

As part of Iran's electoral procedure, candidates will have a number of days to formally register, commencing on May 30. However, the final roster is contingent upon the outcome of the validation process by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council after the registration deadline on June 3.