Ahmadinejad’s disqualification broke his silence


HOST asks: I want to ask you what the major issues the Guardian Council has had so far.

NARRATOR says: Spokesperson of the Guardian Council— the institution that is in charge of qualifying or disqualifying election candidates in Iran—on TV last night.

ABBAS ALI KADKHODAEI asserts: So far, fortunately there has been no problems. Everything went on as it should and according to the predicted mechanism.

NARRATOR continues: The TV host insists on knowing what has happened that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—who was Iran’s president for 8 years and, at certain time, was one of the supreme leader’s confidants—is now disqualified. But he does not get any clear, straight answer.

HOST asks for details of Ahmadinejad’s disqualification: Well, you don’t want to talk about Mr. Ahmadinejad, right?

ABBAS ALI KADKHODAEI evades answering: Just like the others. And if there are any questions, I will try to…

HOST says: Anyway, I don’t insist. This was a question I had to ask.

NARRATOR continues: Until the end of the program, when there is an SMS from one of the viewers.

HOST asks for clarification once again: Was the supreme leader’s recommendation effective in his [Ahmadinejad’s] being disqualified?

ABBAS ALI KADKHODAEI says: No. The Guardian Council, in so far as there are laws and conditions in laws, doesn’t need anything else. And it will announce the results only within the framework of law. Unless the supreme leader’s recommendation, just as I said in the beginning, would be brought up as executive order. Well in this case, there was no particular executive order.

NARRATOR points out to joint statement by Ahmadinejad and Hamid Baghai: Today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamid Baghai broke their silence, and issued a statement, addressing (as they said) “monotheists, freedom seekers, and justice seekers.” They say, “we openly announce that in the upcoming election, we will not support anybody.”

AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI’s recommendation to Ahmadinejad: I didn’t even ask him not to participate [in presidential election]. I just said, I don’t think it is good if you take part [in election].

NARRATOR says: Previously the leader had recommended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s not coming [to election]. A recommendation which, according to Ahmadinejad, will not ban him from taking part in elections.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD says: The supreme leader has recommended that I should not take part in election as a candidate. And I accepted it. But his recommendation was not a ban. He said, “we don’t say you should come, or shouldn’t come.” It was just recommendation. And his recommendation was not banning my presence [in election].

NARRATOR concludes: Since Thursday night when the Guardian Council qualified six people for candidacy in the upcoming election and disqualified many others including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many were waiting to see Iran’s former president’s reaction. But he only issued this picture on his own Telegram page, without mentioning the names of any officials or institutions—with this message that “people enjoy the highest position and value.”

Mehrdad Kohanrooz, BBC Persian