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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.