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Divisions Escalate in Iranian Regime Election

Guardian Council Secretary Calls for Disqualification of non-Muslim candidates at the local level

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In a surprise move by Ahmadinejad, the former Iranian President registered for the upcoming presidential election. Although he had previously agreed to stay out of the election at the request of Khamenei, it seems that he had a change of heart. The Guardian Council, half of which is appointed by Khamenei with the rest being appointed by a Judiciary who is nominated by Khamenei, have disqualified him from the election.


This disqualification was at the order of Khamenei, but it also shows the divisions that are becoming more apparent within the regime, including the weakness and desperation of Khamenei. With no defined successor, Khamenei is struggling to keep them in line and present a united front to the international community. His influence is waning and the impact could be signaling the end of the regime.

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Ali Khamenei

In 2005, Ahmadinejad made is debut, with the support of Khamenei and the help of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Khamenei imposed Ahmadinejad on the other factions of the regime. Khamenei had repeatedly said he preferred Ahmadinejad over others, including Rafsanjani. Ahmadinejad later stood in the face of the godfather of the regime, attempting to take a larger  share of his power and has now become a thorn in the side of this repressive regime.


Following determination of various candidates by the Guardian Council, Khamenei ordered the security forces to be deployed widely in different squares and streets in Tehran, including Vali Asr and Enghelab Square. The area around the house of Ahmadinejad in Eastern Tehran is in the control of riot police.

The Guardian Council also named six candidates qualified for sham election. Executioner Mullah Raisi, a member of “Death Committee” in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners; Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, former Revolutionary Guard Brigadier General and criminal mayor of Tehran; and Mostafa Mir Salim of the Islamic Coalition Party, who has served the regime in the past four decades, are three candidates from the Khamenei faction, and imposter and criminal mullah Rouhani, the current President; Ishaq Jahangiri and Mostafa Hashemi Taba, two of his deputies who were both among the veteran officials of the religious tyranny from the rival gang.

In another development, on April 18, Mullah Jannati, head of the regime’s Guardian Council, in a formal statement ordered the disqualification of candidates of religious minorities in elections for local councils. This is a repressive decision that contradicts even the regime’s own constitution. Given that “decisions taken by municipalities, without the approval of the Guardian Council are binding” with respect to the nomination of members of non-Muslims in areas where the majority of its people are Muslims,  he expressed concern and described it as opposed to the views of Khomeini, velayat-e faqih founder, and contrary to the mullahs’ religious instructions. He stressed that non-Muslim candidates should not be qualified. Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said that this statement was “the theory of the jurists” and acknowledged it.

In addition, the fear of another uprising mirroring 2009, Khamenei has ordered that the debates not be aired live.

This measure is in fear of the exposure of the crimes and plundering of the regime’s leaders and in fear of popular anger and social upheavals.

Regime leaders continually warn each other about the threat of repeat of 2009 uprising. Mullah Larijani, the regime’s Judiciary Chief, expressed concern in this regard and called for readiness of all suppressive forces of the regime. “Prosecution chiefs and prosecutors, in collaboration with law enforcement and security forces should prevent … sedition and chaos by some people. In the election they may desire to inflict a blow to the regime, so everyone should be prepared; they should leave no space and no room for such mischief,” he said. (Tasnim news agency, April 20, 2017)

Remarks by Speaker of the Assembly of Experts has intensified the infighting within the regime factions and the various government entities. The regime’s Parliament called Jannati’s statement interference in the work of Parliament and stressed that the responsibility for the qualification of local councils is with the Parliament. Qassem Mirzaee Nekou,  an MP, called Jannati’s statement an innovation and said, definitely with this trend, “every day Parliament adopted legislations may be abolished.”

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Qassem Soleimani,

Following these positions, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the terrorist IRGC-Qods Force, went to meet Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament, along with a number of IRGC commanders, to intimidate him.


About Siavosh Hosseini (349 Articles)
My background is in the visual arts, particularly in photojournalism. I have had the opportunity to cover scores of international artistic and news events in the US and across Europe since the mid-1980s. I was active in television newsrooms and production as a graphic designer and producer for more than 12 years in different television and news outfits in Europe.

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