Conservative MP Ali Motahari has once again emphasized that the government should not interfere in the election, saying: “There is no problem for some individuals to have critical views differing from those of the Supreme Leader.”
In a speech at the Quran and Hadis University, Motahari said: “On the issue of candidate eligibility, anti-Islamic propensities should not be tolerated, and those who have different interpretations of Islam should not be deemed eligible to run in the election.”
Motahari gave his opinion on the eligibility of former president Mohammad Khatami and other possible reformist candidates, saying: “Denying the eligibility of Mr. Khatami is denying the eligibility of a government critic. Most people do not regard him as a seditious element. He merely spoke out against the events that followed the 2009 election and criticized the regime for them. However, there are those who promote thoughts that are against Islam, and these individuals cannot be approved by the Guardian Council.”
Motahari stressed that denying Khatami the right to run for president would exact a heavy price from the regime because “he is a well-known figure, both within Iran and internationally, and this would not be an appropriate move for the regime.”
Ali Motahari went on to express support for the potential candidacy of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, insisting that the head of the Expediency Council is the “only one who may be able to settle the current issues.”
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been excluded from the political arena since the 2009 presidential election but he recently announced that he might consider running this year.