Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stocks election to replace Ahmadinejad with loyalists

Nuclear standoff, Syria backing to persist with candidates loyal to Khamenei

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The Guardian Council most controversially disqualified two-time former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who had supported a less-hostile relationship with the United States, and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff.

“Disqualifying Rafsanjani further signals the regime’s unwillingness to reach a compromise with the West in the nuclear issue, and resistance to domestic demands for political and economic liberalization,” said Ali Alfoneh, an independent Iran analyst.

“The Islamic Republic seems reduced to a garrison state preparing itself for suppression of the domestic opposition and resisting pressure from the outside world in the nuclear issue.”

Besides Mr. Jalili and Mr. Qalibaf, the other candidates are former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati; Hassan Rowhani, a former chief negotiator in nuclear talks with the European Union; Gholamali Haddad-Adel, whose daughter is married to Ayatollah Khamenei’s son; Stanford University-educated reformist Mohammad Reza Aref; Mohsen Rezai, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; and Mohammad Gharazi, a little-known former petroleum minister.

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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.

His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.

Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...

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