Abbas Ali Kadkhodayi

Iran’s Guardian Council says it guarantees that parliamentary elections will be held without any possibility of fraud, adding that people who protested the 2009 elections will not be eligible to run for office.

“The Guardian Council is highly sensitive to violation and fraud in the parliamentary elections,” Council spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodayi told a press conference. “If there are any violations, the Guardian Council is ready to nullify the results regardless of the political background of the candidates.”

Parliamentary elections are to take place next year. The Guardian Council is in charge of determining the eligibility of candidates, overseeing the election process, counting the votes and confirming the results.

Headed by the hardline cleric Ahmad Jannati, the Guardian Council has been accused by the opposition of arbitrarily disqualifying reform candidates and overlooking the alleged fraud in the 2009 presidential elections.

The Guardian Council spokesman said those who were involved in the “2009 sedition” will not be approved as candidates. He claimed that rejected candidates could come from either the reformist camp or the conservative camp.

In the past year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has faced grave opposition from both the reformist and some conservative members of parliament. The Guardian Council statement appears to indicate it is preparing to cleanse parliament of anti-Ahmadinejad sentiments.

Kadkhodayi claimed that the protests against the 2009 presidential elections and the allegations of fraud were engineered by Iran’s enemies, who lured some friends of the Islamic Republic into acting against the regime.

MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, two of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponents in the 2009 presidential elections, have accused the government of election fraud. The authorities have adamantly denied the allegations, accusing the two politicians of fomenting unrest to the benefit of the country’s enemies.