Friday, March 7, 2008

Reports of Khatami’s Request of Leader Refuted

Spokesman for Reformist Coalition:
‎“Mr. Khatami has till this moment not asked any senior state official to confirm the ‎qualifications of any individual,” according to the spokesman for the pro-reform ‎coalition. Abdullah Nasseri’s use of the term “senior state official” is in Iran’s political ‎nomenclature a reference to the leader of the Islamic Republic. It is interpreted to mean ‎that former President Khatami has not made a request from ayatollah Khamenei ‎regarding the approval of the qualifications of reformist candidates to the March 14 ‎parliamentary elections.‎

Last year during the first seminar of Iran’s governor-generals under the current ‎administration, the secretary of the Guardians Council (which vets election candidates ‎and supervises all national elections) ayatollah Ahmad Janati made remarks that were not ‎given prominence by the news agencies. On the eve of the elections to the powerful ‎Experts Assembly to Leadership he said, “I will not accept any recommendations except ‎those coming from the Leader.” In other words he said that only the Leader could make a ‎judgment over the views of the Guardians Council regarding candidates.‎

This is the reason when more than 3,000 candidates – mostly pro-reformists - were ‎disqualified by the Guardians Council the first recourse for the leading clerics was to ‎approach the Leader for intervention and assistance. At that time, Etemad newspaper ‎‎(belonging to the reformists) presented three options for breaking through the ‎disqualifications crises: “Seyed Mohammad Khatami, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and ‎Mehdi Karubi shall separately meet the Leader to resolve the issue of the candidate ‎disqualifications. This decision was taken at a special meeting the three held together for ‎the purpose of breaking through the impasse.”‎

Despite those events, the spokesman of the reformists now announces that Khatami has ‎not approached the Leader for intervention. “After a meeting with Mr. Karubi and Mr. ‎Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mr. Khatami met with the leader at the end of his presidential term ‎but this was not a special meeting over the elections,” he said.‎

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