Iran’s Guardian Council Spokesman Hadi Tahan Nazif

No Appeals for Iran’s Presidential Election Disqualifications

Wednesday, 05/29/2024

The spokesperson for Iran’s Guardian Council declared that there is no possibility to appeal disqualifications in the presidential election as the body shores up increasing influence.

"The presidential election law does not provide for appeals against disqualifications, and the decision of the Guardian Council is final," Hadi Tahan Nazif stated Wednesday in a televised interview on the June 28 polls. 

He claimed that the rule is not unique to the upcoming snap election following the sudden death of Ebrahim Raisi this month, but is the standard procedure under normal circumstances as well.

Earlier this month, former President Hassan Rouhani criticized the Khamenei-appointed Guardian Council for undermining democracy and reducing the people's role in elections by vetoing candidates with opposing political views. 

"This is not a defense of myself, but the defense of the system's republican (and Islamic) foundations, a defense of the institution of presidency which as the direct representative of all Iranians should not be weakened any more than this," Rouhani wrote in an open letter. 

The former president, barred from running in the March 1 elections for the Assembly of Experts, addressed his letter to the "Iranian Nation," which was published on his personal website.

The 12-member Guardian Council, half of whom are clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader versed in Sharia law, and the other half laymen or clerics appointed by the chief justice, also a Supreme Leader appointee, has increasingly expanded its role in disqualifying election candidates. 

The disqualifications routinely target not only opponents and dissidents but now also prominent insiders who fall out of favor with the hardline regime.

Former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was barred by the Guardian Council from running against Ebrahim Raisi in 2021, allegedly because his daughter resides in the United States. Despite Supreme Leader Khamenei calling his disqualification an "injustice" before the elections, he did not reinstate Larijani through a state edict, as many had expected.

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