Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Iran's Council of Guardians disqualifies Rafsanjani and Mashaie

The eight candidates that got the green light.

Today's Tehran Times, a conservative Iranian newspaper, reported that the Iranian Interior Ministry late on Tuesday announced that the Guardian Council has approved eight candidates for Iran’s June 14 presidential election. It named the following candidates: Saeed Jalili, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Mohsen Rezaei, Hassan Rohani, Mohammad Reza Aref, Mohammad Gharazi, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Ali Akbar Velayati. Of them Jalili (picture top extreme left) is a cionfidant of the supreme guide, Ali Khamenei, and the man who was till now Iran's top-negotiator in the last rounds of talks about nuclear issues with the West. Velayati (top extreme right) is a former Foreign minister under Rafsnajani and Moussavi. Rezaei (down, second form right) has been a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards (pasdaran) and Mohammed Reza Aref (down, extreme right) has been a minister of commucations and vice-president under ex-president Moahmmed Khatami. This last one man might be the most pro-reformist candidate.
The most important aspect of the announcement of the Iranian ministry of the Interior, however, was that two well known names were not mentioned, namely those of ex-president Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, and of the aide of the present president Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie. Rafsanjani took sides in the past with the former reformist candidates Moussavi and Karoubi, who both were side lined during the last presidential elections and are still under house-arrest. Ahmadinejad's aide Mashaie is a man viewed with distrust by Khamenei's camp as it considers him to lead a current that seeks to set aside clerical influence. Both candidates were in fact the most interesting two of the whole lot, as they both Incorporated potential challenges to Khamenei and his leading conservative trend.  

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