Mashai & Ahmadinejad

Iran’s Guardian Council has spoken out against the fact that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accompanied Esfandiar Rahim Mashai as he registered to run in the presidential race.

Abasali Kadkhodayi told the Tasnim News Agency on May 12 that the president’s presence at the Interior Ministry yesterday, May 11, has been unanimously deemed a violation. He added that the issue has been forwarded to the judiciary, which will process the matter.

Yesterday, on the last day of registration for presidential candidates, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai arrived at the Interior Ministry together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who strongly promoted him as his successor.

Kaskhodayi added that the gatherings of supporters of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashai at the ministry could also be regarded as advertising ahead of the official campaign, which is illegal. He said the issue would be considered by the Guardian Council as it determines who is eligible to run.

Two MPs also condemned the president’s presence at the Interior Ministry. Nader Ghazipour called it “inappropriate and unwise and not befitting the dignity of the presidency.”

Ahmad Tavakoli, another MP, said the president was acting like “despotic rulers” who choose their own successors. He added that Ahmadinejad has desecrated the presidential oath.

Mahmoud Ahamdienjad told the gathered crowd yesterday that he was taking a day off for the first time in his eight years as president in order to accompany Mr. Mashai, adding that: “Mashai means Ahmadinejad, and Ahmadinejad means Mashai.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fallen out of favour with the conservative factions that supported him in the last election.