Iran’s Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, who has been disqualified by the country’s Constitutional Council from running in the June 18 presidential election and who would have been the Reformist camp’s top candidate, says the vetting body bears all liabilities arising from the rejection.
Jahangiri said in a statement on Tuesday — several hours after a list of approved presidential candidates was published, not bearing his name — that he had already fulfilled his own responsibility by heeding calls and registering for the election.
“The Council naturally bears the responsibility for the decision and its legal basis and for the political and social consequences arising from it,” Jahangiri said, referring to the Constitutional Council and its decision to disqualify him. “But… [the decision] took the big obligation I have to God and to my dear countrymen off my shoulders,” he added.
He said the failure to approve many of the individuals who had the qualifications to run was “a serious threat” to the prospect of the popular participation and competition of all political currents, particularly the Reformist camp.
“I hope that the republican aspect of the establishment, the effective participation of the people in determining their own fate, the national interests, and the future of Iran will not be made sacrifice to immediate political expediencies,” the Iranian vice president said.
Jahangiri also urged people to turn out to vote on Election Day.
The Constitutional Council spent 10 days vetting dozens of presidential hopefuls. It forwarded a list of approved candidates to the Interior Ministry late on Monday. A report by Fars news agency published that same time said Jahangiri and another prominent figure, former Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, had been excluded. The Iranian Interior Ministry published the list later on Tuesday.
Shortly after the publication of the list, Larijani accepted his disqualification with an air of resignation.
The absence of Jahangiri now means that Ebrahim Raeisi, the current chief of the Iranian Judiciary and the top choice of the Principlist camp, will effectively have no heavyweight Reformist rival to reckon with. In an indication of his own reservations, Raeisi said on Tuesday he had been making contacts and negotiating with unknown sides to make the election “more competitive and participatory.”