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Iran's Rouhani says barred from seeking re-election to key body

By AFP

January 25, 2024 11:01 AM


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Iran's former president Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that after 24 years of membership he has been barred from seeking re-election to the body that appoints the country's supreme leader.

Rouhani's official website said jurists in charge of vetting hopefuls "did not approve" his candidacy for a new term on the Assembly of Experts. It did not elaborate on the reason.

Later in the day, Rouhani slammed the decision, decrying the "anti-constitutional approach of the ruling totalitarian minority", his website said.

"Those who disqualified me with political motives... they neither own the (Islamic) revolution and the country, nor do they have the authority to determine the interests of the country."

Rouhani, a moderate, also accused the "ruling minority" of seeking to reduce people's participation in elections to ultimately "remove the elections and ballots... so that they can determine the fate of the people" unilaterally.

The former president, who was first elected to the body in 1999, had announced in November that he was seeking a new term.

Rouhani served as Iran's president from 2013 to 2021. Since leaving office, he has been a vocal critic of the ultra-conservative administration of his successor Ebrahim Raisi and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been one of its principal pillars.

The 88-member Assembly of Experts is tasked with electing, supervising and, if necessary, dismissing the supreme leader, who has the final say in all matters of state in Iran.

The post has been held since 1989 by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, now 84.


AFP


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