Iran News Round Up

<p>Prominent Reformist politician Mohammad Reza Aref expressed disappointment that the Guardian Council failed to reverse the disqualifications of senior Reformists for the parliamentary elections.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The Guardian Council approved 1,500 additional candidates to run in the parliamentary elections, bringing the total number of approved candidates to 6,300. It remains unclear what proportion of these newly approved candidates are Reformists, however.</p>
<p>The spokesman for the Guardian Council announced that he believes around a quarter of the parliamentary candidates who had been disqualified may be allowed to run.</p>
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli moderated his criticism of the mass disqualification of parliamentary candidates, indicating that the Interior Ministry is unlikely to contest the results of the Guardian Council's review.
<p>Iranian media reported the deaths of a dozen Iranian fighters in Syria, underscoring the depth of Iran&rsquo;s ongoing military support for the Syrian government.</p>
<p>Influential regime hardliners denounced Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani&rsquo;s comments challenging the Guardian Council&rsquo;s right to vet electoral candidates. Their complaints mark the continued rhetorical escalation within the regime elite about the vetting process and the role of the Guardian Council.</p>
<p>Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani challenged the Guardian Council&rsquo;s right to vet candidates, stating, &ldquo;Where did you get your qualifications? Who allowed you to judge?&rdquo;</p>
<p>Hojjat ol Eslam Hassan Khomeini, a grandson of Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, will formally contest his disqualification as a candidate in the Assembly of Experts elections.</p>
<p>Iran accused Saudi Arabia of supporting the participation of terrorist groups in the upcoming Syrian peace talks.</p>
The Guardian Council announced that it has approved 166 of 794 candidates for the Assembly of Experts elections.