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Will Iran’s Guardian Council disqualify Rouhani from running?

With Iran's presidential election three months away, tongues are openly wagging about the Guardian Council's potentially disqualifying President Hassan Rouhani from running for re-election, and the Priniciplists suspect a ploy to portray him as a victim.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  - RTSP0TS

With less than three months until Iran’s May 19 presidential elections, it is still not clear which candidates will be running. The Principlists have yet to reach a consensus on a single candidate, while there are rumors that the Guardian Council may disqualify incumbent President Hassan Rouhani's candidacy for re-election.

Until recently, speculation about Rouhani’s potential disqualification circulated only in in political circles, but the possibility is now discussed openly by media outlets and officials alike. The suggestion was perhaps first articulated in public by the late ultra-conservative cleric Jafar Shojooni, a prominent member of the hard-line Combatant Clergy Association, in May 2016. In an interview with Arman Daily, Shojooni urged efforts to ensure that the Rouhani administration won’t stay in office beyond its current term.

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