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Khamenei's Criteria For Next Iranian President

Meir Javedanfar examines what may qualify or disqualify Iran’s presidential candidates, according to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his ballot in the parliamentary election in Tehran March 2, 2012.  Polls opened on Friday for a parliamentary election in Iran that will test the popularity of the clerical establishment at a time of a standoff with the West over the country's nuclear programme.  REUTERS/Caren Firouz (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS ELE

At a recent gathering on March 24 in his city of birth Mashhad, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei emphasized the characteristics of the next president as: “having the strengths which exist today, minus the weaknesses.” In other words, someone who has Ahmadinejad's strengths but not his weaknesses.

At the same gathering, Khamenei also emphasized that he will only have one vote and that no one will know his vote before he casts it. It's difficult to believe that this will be true. In fact, the upcoming presidential elections are likely to decided by Khamenei, in consultation with the IRGC. Their opinion is likely to carry the second highest weight after his. Between them, Khamenei is likely to be the only party that has the last word and veto power.

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