Once again the Islamic regime's desire for absolute control of political life in Iran surprised many when it announced their selection of only eight shortlisted presidential candidates out of more than 600 hopefuls who registered.
Most controversially, the conservative Council of Guardians disqualified two high profile candidates: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, an ally of the current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who have each dared to differ with the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. At present only Khamenei can reverse this decision.
Rafsanjani publicly accused Iran's leadership of incompetence and ignorance after being barred from standing in the election.
Blogger Mola Hasani says [fa]:
I was very relieved when I heard that Rafsanjani was disqualified… Is it funny that they disqualified the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran. They [Council of Guardians] are really stupid and this stupidity makes us happy and hopeful.
Azarakan says [fa]:
It is possible that Ali Khamenei would reverse the Council of Guardians’ decision and let Rafsanjani run for the presidential election for several reasons, such as: He wants to make Rafsanjani understand that he can run thanks to his generosity. Khamenei can show the oppressed 2009 victims that he is a wise and good leader. The Leader also aims to show Western powers that he is the one who is in charge.
َA group of Mashaei's supporters published [fa] a statement in their blog asking the Leader to intervene to restore Mashaei's candidacy.
The blogger Imayan writes [fa] that the Council of Guardians lies, and that the Leader wants to impose its one vote on the whole population.
Belgiran writes [fa] that the coming election is not going to solve anything.
“The regime is dead, the military carries a corpse on its shoulders. It's time to bury it, people want change.”