May 10, 2021
Rouhani and Guardian Council in Law War
This afternoon, President Rouhani issued a directive to the Minister of the Interior (whose department overlooks the electoral process) to follow existing laws and not adhere to the conditions added by the Guardian Council last Wednesday. Among those conditions was an age restriction of candidates to between 40 and 75, which would exclude Rouhani’s Minister of Communication, Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi, from running. A few hours later, the Guardian Council responded on social media through a spokesman, stating that “the decision of the Guardian Council regarding the conditions of the registrants of the Presidential elections is binding on the Ministry of Interior”.
May 9, 2021
Azari Jahromi Criticises Guardian Council Decision
Minister of Communication Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi posted a video on Instagram in which he criticised the current generation of leaders for not following the example of the Revolutionary generation in passing on responsibilities to younger members of the government. Azeri Jahromi added that, “because most management positions are simply moved between the same generation, the average age of cabinets and managerial positions ages with them”. Azari Jahromi has been excluded from running for President by the Guardian Council following a rule change on Wednesday, as he is under 40.
May 8, 2021
Guardian Council: 300 Criminals Registered in Last Election
Hadi Tahan Nazif of the Guardian Council told a press conference that in the last elections the registered candidates included “about 300 people who had been convicted of such crimes as affray and beatings, robbery, fraud, and so on." He added that some people even registered their young children in the last elections. His comments were in relation to changes in the vetting criteria for candidates which the Guardian Council controversially announced on Wednesday, which is aimed at excluding candidates who may have been prosecuted for political crimes in the past.
May 8, 2021
Guardian Council releases 12 Criteria for a Candidates
The Guardian Council has released its twelve criteria for the presidential candidates for this election. In addition to the military rank condition, which will exclude Saeed Mohammad, the age restriction of 40-75, which will exclude Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi and Mohammad Gharazi, and the criminal record condition, which will exclude Mostafa Tajzadeh, the conditions also include not being affiliated with the 2009 “sedition”, meaning having shown now support for the protests during the disputed election result of that year.
May 6, 2021
Guardian Council Made the Wrong Decision: Former Spokesman
Former Guardian Council spokesman Nejatullah Ebrahimian said that yesterday’s communique regarding changes to criteria for Presidential candidates was a poor decision and probably unconstitutional. Ebrahimian said that “the Constitution stipulates that the Guardian Council can only examine the conditions of the presidential candidates to see if the criteria stated in the Constitution are met. But the Guardian Council cannot lay down a general rule similar to a law or regulation from which criteria can be deduced”. The Guardian Council has been locked in a six month battle with the Legislature, the Majles, to pass changes to the Presidential law, and its decision to go ahead with the changes without legislation is controversial.
May 5, 2021
Guardian Council Changes Presidential Law
The Guardian Council, which vets the candidates, has notified the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for managing the election, that it has added new conditions for candidates this election. This includes that candidates will have to be between the ages of 40 and 75, a ruling that will exclude candidate Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. A second condition is that candidates cannot have a criminal history, which will exclude several potential candidates, such as Reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, and two female candidates, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani and Shahindokht Molaverdi. The Guardian Council had been trying to change the Presidential law for more than six months but has been blocked by the Parliament.
April 21, 2021
Parliament rejects President Law
In the latest iteration of the attempts to change the Presidential Law, the Parliament has again rejected the amendments, specifically the condition that would restrict Presidential candidates to be between the ages of 40-75. The law was in part interpreted as being aimed at preventing Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, 38, from running in this Presidential election, and its rejection by the parliament was followed by speech by Azari Jahromi in which he commented on the election for the first time. The Parliament also rejected a condition which would attempt to define the Constitutional concept of “statesman (rajol-e siasi)”, which the Parliament rejected as not suitable for Common Law. The second condition is sensitive as the term has historically been interpreted as excluding women from running for president, an issue now in dispute. The law has led to a significant struggle between the Parliament and the Guardian Council which forced the intervention of the Expediency Council earlier this week. In a sign that the Guardian Council is unhappy with the result, a letter sent by dissenting members of Parliament to Ayatollah Janati was published, stating that since the Guardian Council vets candidates for election, they should have a greater role in deciding on the law.
April 18, 2021
Expediency Council returns Presidential Law to Guardian Council
The Expediency Council, which mediates disputes on law making between the Parliament and Guardian Council, met on Saturday to review the changes made by the Guardian Council on amendments to the Presidential Law which had failed to pass the Parliament last week. The Expediency Council identified two problems with the proposed changes which they deemed incompatible with the laws of the country, and returned the proposed changes to the Guardian Council for another revision. The amendments would limit presidential candidates to be between the ages of 40 and 70, and at this stage are unlikely to pass in time to affect this year’s election.
April 16, 2021
Changes to Presidential Law pass Guardian Council
The Guardian Council today announced that it had approved amendments to the proposed changes to the Presidential Law. A proposed change to the law, aimed at limiting Presidential candidates to between the ages of 40 and 70, was rejected by the Parliament on Sunday. The law has been interpreted by some as aimed at keeping Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi from running this year. The amendments will now go to the Expediency Council to negotiate with the Parliament about the law’s future.