President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) accompanies his aide Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei to the Interior Ministry for registration in the upcoming presidential election, May 11, 2013.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pledged to follow up on the Guardian Council (GC) disapproval of his top aide, Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei.
On Tuesday night, the Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that the Guardian Council, which vets presidential hopefuls for official candidacy, had approved eight hopefuls.
Rahim Mashaei and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani were not among the approved hopefuls.
Reacting to the Council’s decision, Ahmadinejad said, “With full knowledge of Mr. Mashaei’s capabilities and piety, I nominated him for the presidential election and Mr. Mashaei has been wronged in this matter.… Of course, when [we have] Leader [of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] there will be no problem.”
Ahmadinejad said, “In a country which is ruled by the Velayat Faqih [Muslim Jurisprudent], the right of an innocent will not be trampled upon, especially at this level.”
The Iranian president said he would vigorously pursue the matter until the last minute via the Leader, so that “the issue will - God willing - be resolved.”
“I ask our friends and all those who support me and Mr. Mashaei to be patient because there will be no problem when we have the Leader,” he added.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the election campaign office of Rahim Mashaei announced it would pursue the matter through legal channels and use “the full legal capacity of the country.”
A total of 686 individuals had registered from May 7 to 11 for the Islamic Republic’s 11th presidential election, which will be held on June 14.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election.