Iran Elections and American Influence as Ahmadinejad Reaches term limits.

illegal Iranian elections

 

Is the United States attempting to influence the elections next month in Iran?  According to a report by Reza Kahlili, former CIA spy in Iran, published on WNDthe answer is yes.

Two last minute candidates rushed to file for the June election on Saturday, beating the 6 p.m. deadline.  One is reform-minded former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the other is Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, frontman for outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  (Ahmadinejad has reached his term limits.)

Before voting day on June 14, the Supreme Leader of this religion-ruled Shia Muslim republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his Guardians Council of senior clerics will vet 686 people for their religious and moral suitability.

On Tuesday, hard line Iranian lawmakers appealed to authorities to ban both men from the election.

Feuds between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, make Mashaei’s candidacy doubtful.  Several Iranian websites have reported that Rafsanjani has already been approved.  His popularity would have cast a pall over the elections if he had been rejected.  There were also reports that several other candidates have been approved.

“These are unofficial reports. We don’t confirm any of them,” Guardian Council spokesman Abass Ali Kadkhodaei was quoted by conservative news website, tasnimnews.com, on Wednesday.

WND is reporting that a memorandum was sent to Rafsanjani urging his candidacy, and offering United States Support by Secretary of State John Kerry.  The message was relayed through Saudi Arabia, to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, who arranged through the Saudi Embassy in Tehran to present the message to Rafsanjani.

The letter indicated that Rafsanjani would have Saudi support as well.

Rafsanjani’s relationship with the United States goes back to the 1980’s.  At the time, he was speaker of the Parliament, and a direct line was established between him and the United States.  Rafsanjani promised that after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolution’s leader, relations would improve between Iran and the United States.  When Rafsanjani became president, promises were not kept.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported Ahmadinejad in 2005.  A rift began after the Supreme Leader was forced to order the stuffing of ballot boxes in 2009, ensuring Ahmadinejad a victory.  In recent months Ahmadinejad has been detained and given severe warnings by Khamenei.

There are strong indicators that Khamenei will allow Rafsanjani to run.

With the destruction of much of the credibility of the country’s election process in 2009, Khamenei is seeking restoration of the integrity of the nation’s political system.

After rioting, arrests, and the detention of leaders of the protest, Khamenei is seeking a revival of the people’s trust.

Another issue with Khamenei is his desire to improve relations with the UN, and continue to develop the state’s nuclear program.

Khamenei controls Iran’s entire security system, including the Revolutionary Guards, the intelligence services, the judiciary and, of course, religious institutions.

In addition reports of voter apathy may persuade Khamenei to allow Rafsanjani’s name to remain on the ballot.  He desperately needs a large voter turnout.

Voter’s main concern is the state of their economy, which has become depressed mainly due to poor relations with the West.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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