The head of Iran's judiciary has urged the Guardian Council to prevent ineligible candidates from running in the Assembly of Experts and Parliamentary elections slated for March 2016. Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has warned that a repeat of the 2009 election events would be difficult to get through.
by jailed Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari
In 2009, the government violently suppressed widespread election protests rejecting the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which was widely believed to have been fraudulent.
Mehr reports that Ayatollah Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary, said this week that the supervision by the Guardian Council was within its "legal jurisdiction" on "behalf of the people", adding that "the Guardian Council has to protect rights of the regime and of the people by preventing those who do not meet the necessary criteria from running in the elections".
He referred to the election protests of 2009 as a "sedition" aimed at the heart of the regime, saying: "History may repeat itself, so we need to remain alert to the roots of that conspiracy."
While the establishment refers to the election protests as "sedition", the opposition has insisted that it only wished to address its suspicions of vote fraud within the framework of the Islamic Republic and its protests remained peaceful.
Massoud Jazaeri, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, warned that openly opposing the structure of the supreme leadership would be sufficient cause for disqualification from running in the elections.
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate cleric and head of the Expediency Council, recently spoke about the possibility of transforming the supreme leadership (Velayat Faqih), which is now represented by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, into a council of senior clergymen.
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