In response to President Hassan Rohani’s statements about the limited role of the Guardian Council in the elections, the head of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, said on Tuesday September 1 that the council has jurisdiction over the approval of candidates.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi

At the meeting of the Assembly of Experts on September 1, new chairman Ayatollah Yazdi referred to the two upcoming elections. Without naming the president, he said the Executive Branch is changed with running the elections and the Guardian Council is charged with monitoring them.

He added: “The supervisory role of the Guardian Council will begin with the registration of candidates and end with the announcement of the results.”

On August 19, President Hassan Rohani said: “The Guardian Council is the eye and the executive branch is the hand. Their roles must not be confused.”

There has been continued criticism of the Guardian Council’s role in past elections. Reformists have accused the council of bias toward conservative candidates and nominees.

Today’s statements by Ayatollah Yazdi reaffirm the role of the Guardian Council and emphasize that the executive branch is responsible for administering the elections but every step must be approved by the Guardian Council.