Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was disqualified on Thursday by the country’s Guardian Council from running in next month’s presidential election. Ahmadinejad registered last week as a candidate.
The reason for the disqualification is unclear; however, Ahmadinejad was seen internationally as an extremist bent on destroying Western interests, and as an unstable personality capable of starting a nuclear war.
The Council did approve the candidacy of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, and that of his opponent, Ebrahim Raisi.
The head of the Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, also issued a letter declaring that Shari’a (Islamic law) prohibited non-Muslims from running in the election set for May 19, including those whose faiths are recognized in the constitution.
The Guardian Council of the Constitution is constitutionally mandated, and is an appointed 12-member body, comprised of six theologians appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader, and six jurists nominated by the judiciary and approved by the Iranian parliament.
A final list of “candidates” is to be published by the Iranian Interior Ministry this Sunday.