NCRI - Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surprisingly announced his candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections despite Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei specifically saying last September how he should not participate. This measure, from any perspective and with any objective, signals the mullahs’ weakness and the internal dispute amongst the regime’s factions.
Ahmadinejad’s candidacy raises a variety of probabilities, including his intention of imposing a bargain to Khamenei and the Guardian Council, the body responsible for vetting all candidates, knowing disqualifying him after being the regime’s president for eight years would be a huge embarrassment for Khamenei himself.
Prior to this Khamenei and his faction had disqualified influential cleric Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in 2013. Although Ahmadinejad is no more important than Rafsanjani, disqualifying him would have far more consequences for the regime in its entirety.
Ahmadinejad was raised to power by Khamenei himself, making his disqualification coming with far worse consequences for the regime’s depleting social base. This will inflict a new rift inside the regime’s ranks and lead to further diminution amongst members of the Revolutionary Guards, paramilitary Basij and intelligence community.
However, if Ahmadinejad or Baqai survive the qualification stage and enter the election, Khamenei will have no choice but to allocate a significant amount of energy to them.
If Ahmadinejad or Baqai enter the race, Raisi’s votes will be decreased and there will be a further chance of his defeat.
Of course, even if Khamenei fails to have Raisi selected as his regime’s president, representing the best possible scenario, Rouhani would the next best scenario as Khamenei himself ordered Rouhani to register as a candidate. As a result Ahmadinejad would be a serious thorn in Khamenei’s side.
Anyhow, with another such figure entering the elections, the utterly disrupted status quo reaches a new climax, weakening the Iranian regime in its entirety.