Iranian President Hassan Rouhani removed the Head of the Central Bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati. Hemmati is accepted as one of the few moderate candidates who will run in the June 18 presidential election. Speaking upon the decision, the former governor of the bank stated that he comprehends and accepts the decision taken by the President.
Attending a conversation carried through the Clubhouse social media app, Hemmati affirmed that President Rouhani had informed him that he would have to leave the office if he runs for the presidency. The decision arose from the fact that his candidacy could affect the bank’s monetary and exchange rate policies, Hemmati added in his speech. Besides, Hemmati stated that he had told Rouhani, as a response, that he had no problem with the decision.
Following his dismissal from the office, some names regarding candidates who would possibly succeed Hemmati have started to circulate. According to Iranian media, Akbar Komeijani, a deputy governor of the bank, and Hamid Pourmohammedi, the Deputy Head of the Budget and Planning Organization, are the two names who come into prominence. As of yet, any comments regarding the issue have not been made by the bank.
Abdolnaser Hemmati was appointed as the Central Bank governor in 2018. He is among the seven candidates for the presidency, dominated mostly by hardliners after the Guardian Council, the top vetting body of the country, disqualified many leading reformists and conservatives.
Considering the other approved candidates, it is seen that heavyweight conservatives, including former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaee, and conservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, who is also favored by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are prominent.