Four years have passed, and it is time for another Pseudo-election in Iran. This time Khamenei seems to have decided not to leave any space to anyone but the revolutionary guard (which is not the same as the guardian council ) and has decided to disqualify Hashemi.
The relationship between the two is a complex one. During the last years of Khomeini and the Iran-Iraq war, Hashemi was appointed as the deputy commander in chief of the armed forces, in addition to being the president of the Iranian parliament. At Khomeini’s death, he seems to have thought that the president of the Islamic republic would be the most powerful organ of the regime. This would explain why he manoeuvred to have Khamenei (then president) elected by the assembly of experts as the new leader, becoming himself the president for the next 8 years.
History will prove him wrong, as Khamenei, with the support of the military, has claimed more and more powers for himself, reducing all other organs to little more than puppets. I do not expect the new elections to change anything in that matter.
That being said, TV debates have started, and they seem to be every bit as interesting as the ones for the 2009 elections. Rooz online has a nice article about the debate and the current government’s reaction. Unsurprisingly, they (the current government) are denouncing the denouncers!
1. The revolutionary guard is a « secondary » army set up right after the 1979 revolution mainly out of fears of a coup d’etat by the regular army. Their importance grew during the war, and they now notably control all the missile arsenal. The guardian council is a legislative chamber of 6 law experts and 6 religious experts appointed mostly by the leader. Its duties include verifying the compatibility of votes legislation with the constitution and Islamic laws, certifying elections, and disqualifying candidates.