Iran’s presidential election on Friday seems on track to select a president from the political faction loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Reportedly, more than 500 candidates registered for the election — but the Guardian Council, which vets electoral candidates, disqualified all but a handful. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, is ineligible to run for a third term.
Who is left on the ballot? Unlike the past six elections, the council left no reformists in the final list of qualified candidates. That leaves just seven approved candidates, mostly hard-liners — including three little-known politicians and three candidates who lost previously.… Seguir leyendo »
The recent death of Iran’s former president Hashemi Rafsanjani has triggered fears that Iran’s reformist camp has also been fatally wounded. Many are concerned that without Rafsanjani’s imposing presence, current President Hassan Rouhani will be overpowered by the conservative religious establishment and a controlling IRGC. However, Rouhani may in fact emerge stronger from Rafsanjani’s death.
Rafsanjani — along with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei — was one of the last remaining founders of the Islamic Republic in 1979. His last position as head of the expediency discernment council did not give him much executive power. But his presence in key roles over 38 years of the Islamic Republic made him one of the few symbols of stability in the Iranian political context.… Seguir leyendo »