A number of Iranian professors and scholars have issued an open letter to Iranian President Hassan Rohani to say that in view of the widespread disqualification of would-be candidates, it would be better to cancel the election.

Hassan Rohani

Hassan Rohani

Close to 300 scholars called on Hassan Rohani to set the stage for healthy, competitive, fair and all-inclusive elections.

The Kaleme website reports that the letter from these scholars says “the widespread disqualification of applicants has resulted in general disappointment and a lack of public interest in participating in the elections”.`

They go on to add that “a non-competitive and unfair election with limited public participation will mean a “loss of dignity for the Islamic Republic”, and under such circumstances “cancellation of the election would take priority over holding it.”

The parliamentary elections are set for February 26, as are the Assembly of Experts elections.

Over fifty percent of parliamentary candidates and over eighty percent of Assembly of Experts candidates have been disqualified by the ultra-conservative Guardian Council, and very few reformist candidates were approved.

Rohani had promised to use the full extent of his power to defend the rights of the disqualified candidates at the appeals stage. Twenty five percent of the appeals were approved; however, reformists still make up the largest portion of the disqualified.