Former president Hassan Rouhani (right) and his vice president Es’haq Jahangiri

Iran's Former Vice President Lambasts Decision To Disqualify Rouhani

Friday, 01/26/2024

Iran’s former vice president has criticized the Guardian Council’s decision to bar former president Hassan Rouhani from running in the upcoming election.

“How can someone who had been the secretary and the chairperson of the Supreme National Security Council, who had served several terms as a member of the parliament and the Assembly of Experts be disqualified?” Es’haq Jahangiri said.

Jahangiri stressed that “today, more than ever,” the Islamic Republic needs to restore hope and gain people’s trust, amid dire economic and sociopolitical hardships.

On Wednesday, Iranian hardliners controlling a conspicuous vetting mechanism told the former president that he was barred from running for re-election at the Assembly of Experts that will elect the next Supreme Leader after Ali Khamenei’s death.

However, the Iranian public remains indifferent to Rouhani’s disqualification. Iran International TV analyst Mehdi Mahdavi Azad said Rouhani left a legacy of disappointment after over 20 million Iranians voted for him in 2013 and 2017 before he aligned with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his supporters.

Now, Khamenei has effectively alienated all of Iran’s former presidents, including Rouhani, who was once believed to be one of the candidates for succession as Supreme Leader. He is the last one to be jettisoned out of what many see as Khamenei’s sinking ship.

Iran’s parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections are to be held on March 1. According to the results of the vetting process, the Guardian Council has only allowed hardliners and supporters of the regime to run as candidates.

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