Following remarks made by Abdol-Naser Hemmati on air in which he criticised the harassment of women for not observing proper hijab, Ahmad Khatami, a senior clerical member of the Guardian Council said Hemmati’s comments went against Islamic rules on women and the veil in public places, and warned Hemmati that he should be careful since adherence to Islam is legally necessary for candidates in elections. Several commentators interpreted this as a threat that Hemmati, who is shaping up as the main challenger to front-runner Ebrahim Raisi, may be disqualified before election day. These commentators linked Ahmad Khatami’s comments to a statement on May 7 by another Guardian Council member, Hadi Tahan Nazif, that candidates can be disqualified during the campaign period if it is determined by the Guardian Council that they are no longer eligible. For his part, Hemmati said that he will not censor himself, even if it risks his disqualification, and he is merely reflecting the views of the majority of the people.
Read Ahmad Khatami’s comments at Didbaniran
Read Hemmati’s response at ILNA