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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
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Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fails to get his ally as presidential nominee


Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal, Specialist on State Terrorism;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Independent Analyst;Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine,Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Former university Teacher; website: abdulruff. abdulruff_jnu@





Every ruler in any form of regime is keen to find reliable replacement when he or she levees office. There is one exception. Syrian president Assad does not want to leave presidency even when he is under tremendous pressure maybe because he has trust in anyone to replace him.


Rulers with corrupt and criminal records are extra careful in leaving office.

Iran’s election agency the Guardian Council removed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nominee Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei from the final candidate list. Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that a decision by election overseers to disqualify his top aide from next month's presidential race is an act of "oppression" and that he will take the case to the country's supreme leader.


In the presidential poll to be held next month in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has strongly supported his protégé, Mashaei who is disliked by hard-liners because of the man's alleged role in the bitter feud between Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics. They have denounced him as part of a "deviant current" that seeks to undermine the country's Islamic system - which made ballot approval highly unlikely. The president called Mashaei a "pious, rightful and competent man."


The Guardian Council also barred ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a centrist who had revitalized reformist hopes. Rafsanjani is a founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought the clerics to power. He was the closest confident of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution. Even Khamenei largely owes his position to Rafsanjani's support. His rejection deals a demoralizing blow to pro-reform groups and boosts the chances of a Khamenei loyalist winning the election.


The council approved eight hopefuls, most of them hard-line candidates associated with the clerical establishment. Among those approved for the June ballot are Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, prominent lawmaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf - all top Khamenei loyalists. Former chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezaei has also been approved. Of eight, only two of them are pro-reform figures: Former top nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani and former first vice president Mohammad Reza Aref.


Neither President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's close ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei  nor Rafsanjani, a confidant of Khomeini and the opposition's favoured candidate were among the eight candidates approved by the guardian council to enter the ballot out of at least 680 people who registered this month. Many, including a daughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic republic, have protested against the disqualification of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from next month's presidential election.


Ahmadinejad expressed dissatisfaction with the decision against Mashaei, describing it as an act of oppression. He promised to raise the issue with Khamenei. Rafsanjani's exclusion has come as a surprise to many, especially supporters of the Islamic republic who regard him as one of Iran's great political survivors, formerly serving as president for two consecutive terms. Rafsanjani's supporters see many ironies in his disqualification, not least that he is currently head of the expediency council, which mediates between the guardian council and parliament. Two of the guardian council's members are older than Rafsanjani


The ruling dealt a serious blow to Ahmadinejad's hopes of having a loyalist succeed him. He can't run in the June 14 ballot due to term limits under Iran's constitution. The Iranian media didn't provide any reason for disqualifying Rafsanjani, but his opponents have claimed that at the age of 78, he is too old to run the country. Others have cited his support for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi who claimed to be the rightful winner of the disputed 2009 election as another major reason for disqualifying Rafsanjani. A government crackdown in 2009 put an end to street protests, but Rafsanjani remained critical over the way the ruling system dealt with the crisis.

The guardian council, a powerful body of six jurists and six clergymen, vets all candidates to make sure they have sufficient loyalty to the Islamic republic and its principles. Despite Ahmadinejad's pledge to appeal, it is unlikely that the Guardian Council made its decision without the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It allowed only eight candidates, mostly ones backed by clerical hard-liners.

Ahmadinejad claims deference to Khamenei, although his perceived 2011 challenge to the Supreme Leader's authority caused him to fall out with conservatives who formerly backed him and marks the start of the decline in his political fortunes.


But removing the main challengers to the hard-liners dims hopes for high turnout, which Iranian leaders are believed to want to show that the Islamic Republic is still politically strong.


Many political commentators believe that the disqualifications have smoothed the path for Jalili to potentially succeed Ahmadinejad. Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Khamenei was sending a message that Tehran would not compromise over its nuclear program.

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