Home iran Reform Front’s Akhoundi Challenges Iran’s Guardian Council Over Qualifications

Reform Front’s Akhoundi Challenges Iran’s Guardian Council Over Qualifications

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Abbas Akhoundi, a candidate from the Reform Front, has publicly urged Iran’s Guardian Council to engage directly with him and his fellow candidates regarding their qualifications for the upcoming snap presidential election on June 28.

Akhoundi said, “I am confident that all of us (candidates from the Reform Front) meet the qualifications stipulated in the constitution, and there is no reason to disqualify any of us.”

The plea comes in the wake of the announcement by Javad Emam, spokesperson for the Reform Front, which revealed that Abbas Akhoundi, Masoud Pezeshkian, and Es’haq Jahangiri have been selected as the Front’s candidates for the government-controlled election to choose a successor to Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash last month.

Former President Mohammad Khatami has declared that he will endorse the election only if at least one candidate from the Reform Front is allowed to participate.

The Guardian Council, a 12-member body closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has been systematically blocking ‘reformist’ candidates from participating in elections. The practice has been a major point of contention, reinforcing the stronghold of conservative and hardline groups within Iran’s political system. The trend of disqualifying potential ‘reformist’ and non-hardline candidates has been particularly noticeable since 2020, impacting both parliamentary and presidential races.

As the election approaches, the international community and domestic observers are closely watching the Guardian Council’s actions, which are seen as pivotal in determining the direction of Iran’s future political landscape.