The head of the Central Bank of Iran has been removed from his candidacy for the presidency

The governor of Iran’s central bank has been fired after the government said his candidacy for next month’s presidential election was hampering his official duties.

President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet has ruled that Abdolnasser Hematy’s candidacy in a June 18 poll could “prevent him from being present enough at the central bank,” local media reported on Sunday.

Hemat refused to resign. One of his deputies, Akbar Komijani, has taken over as governor of the Central Bank.

Hemat, 64, is a technocrat who has held senior economic positions in Iran for decades without making a name for himself. He emerged as the preferred candidate for some reform groups after more prominent names were left out of the race, such as Eshaq Hahangir, the first vice-president, and Ali Larijani, the former central speaker of parliament.

Despite his ouster from the central bank, analysts say Hammati could challenge the hardline leader, Ibrahim Raisi.

Hemat has positioned himself as a pragmatic, economy-oriented person who can restore the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and help lift distorted US sanctions.

“Hematy’s sudden appearance, his sudden rise in votes, has alarmed hardliners,” said the reformist analyst. “It is possible that many reform groups will eventually support him. “Iranians can be pushed back against Raisi and elect Hemati.”

Hematin, whose motto is “cooperation at home and abroad”, left the other six candidates to develop a professional image rather than an ideological one.

“Without a deal [with world powers] to lift sanctions. “Without the consent of the state and its citizens, people’s living conditions will not improve,” he said.

Analysts say Rice, who analysts say is a popular candidate for the presidency, is leading in opinion polls. However, they note that his support has not increased since the start of his campaign last week.

This dashed hopes for candidates such as Revolutionary Guards member Major General Mohsen Reza, who led the elite force for 16 years. He promised a large increase in monthly cash reserves, which account for almost half of the population, to pay monthly salaries to housewives.

Reformers split in support of Hamati after high-ranking officials, including former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzade, said they would boycott the poll in protest of their disqualification.

It is believed that Mohammed Hashemi, the brother of the late former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is trying to mobilize reformers to support Hemati.

“Hematin is a candidate for the pro-Rafsanjan camp,” said another reformist politician. “His fate depends on how well he can manage the televised debates against Raisi.”

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