Disqualified: Why Can't These Four Prominent Iranian Politicians Run for President?

Published May 25th, 2021 - 08:48 GMT
Mostafa Tajzadeh, Ali Larijani, Eshaq Jahangiri, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Amongst the four names disqualified from the race is the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Al Bawaba)

Amid preparations for the next presidential elections in Iran, Fars News Agency has reported that the country’s Constitutional Council has decided to qualify four main candidates, ending their hopes for the presidency.

According to the official news agency in Iran, the four candidates that have been disqualified are the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mostafa Tajzadeh
who served as acting minister of interior and advisor to former president Mohammad Khatami, the former speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani, in addition to the Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri.

The four names have reportedly been highlighted in a yet-to-be-verified report by the constitutional council, in which several names have been blamed for their "responsibility for the status quo."

In recent weeks, controversies have been on the rise in Iran as many leading politicians have been rumored to be considering running for elections that are set for the 18th of June 2021.

Two weeks ago, Iran's outspoken foreign minister Javad Zarif denied reports that speculated his intentions to run for president. Analysts had linked this to a scandal that targeted him leaking segments of an interview, in which he attacked the highly-popular slain military leader Qasem Soleimani. Shortly after the interview was leaked, Zarif offered his apology for Soleimani's family.

Even though Iran has been holding elections for many decades, Iranian dissidents have for long criticized the country for being undemocratic, arguing that only individuals approved by the country's supreme leader Ali Khamenei can run for elections, which "deprives many reformists of their constitutional right."

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