The list of approved candidates for the upcoming presidential election in Iran went public today.
It’s not surprising that current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff and close ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei will not be allowed to run in the election by Iran’s Guardian Council. The duo’s combined enemies in Iran’s religious institutions, bitter resentment of the youth, and a business community that’s soured on the current president due to a bad economy left little influence available to the president.
It is unexpected that former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will be banned from the election – a clear signal that Iran’s clerical establishment is seeking a conservative election result with no surprises.
How Iran’s urban youth, who’s green movement in Tehran voiced widespread displease with the last election, will respond to the ruling that bars Rafsanjani from running is not yet clear.