How to Explain Khamenei’s Public Disavowal of Former President Ahmadinejad?

Summary
After months of speculation fuelled by many provincial visits and speeches at political gatherings, the former president’s hopes were dashed after the supreme leader, indicated in public that he did not see the prospect of his candidacy as being in the interests of the country.

Impact

  • While Ahmadinejad’s stated in writing he would abide by Khamenei’s advice not to run in the 2017 presidential election, it is not yet clear who will be incumbent President Rouhani’s opponent in the campaign.
  • Although the side-lining of former President Ahmadinejad may be welcomed with relief by Westerners as well as an important part of the population, Iranian politics is so unpredictable that he may try to get vetted by the Guardian Council or file a candidate from his inner circle.