Iran’s Former President Rouhani Barred from Running for Elite Assembly

Iran’s Guardian Council has banned former President Hassan Rouhani from standing for the Assembly of Experts electon in March, state media said on Wednesday. The Assembly supervises the most powerful authority and will play a significant role in choosing the successor of 84-year-old Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Rouhani was previously elected in 2013 and 2017 but angered political hardliners due to his efforts to normalize relations with the US. The Guardian Council’s decision has sparked concerns about the legitimacy of the upcoming elections, as many moderate candidates have been disqualified. Only 30 mid-ranking moderate candidates have been qualified to stand for the parliamentary election, which will also be held on March 1.