Ahmadinejad Charges Could Be Handed Down Over Election Fraud

James Johnson

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could face charges after he violated Iran's rules during an election.

Ahmadinejad accompanied his chief adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei to the election registry office on Saturday. The Iranian regime's Guardian Council specifically forbid him from appearing at the registry during an election.

The Iranian state-run media quoted Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, who says Ahmadinejad could face charges after being referred to Iran's judiciary.

The Guardian Council also claims that Ahmadinejad broke public fund rules during the election by accompanying Mashaei to the election registration office.

If found guilty of election crimes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's charges could include up to six months in prison or 74 lashes to be carried out in public.

The Guardian Council is responsible for vetting 680 presidential hopefuls including Mr. Mashaei.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot run for a third term under the country's constitution and has therefore thrown his full support behind Mr. Mashaei. The two men have close ties as their children are married to one another.

Opponents to Mr. Mashaei claim that his campaign has been funded with public money.

Mr. Mashaei has been closely watched by Iran's ultra-conservative base who claim he is a pro-Israel politician who hopes to undermine the country's beliefs system. Conservatives in the country point to a comment Mashaei made in which he proclaimed that Iran is "friends of all people in the world – even Israelis."

The election takes place on June 14, and current favorites for a victory are the men who have aligned themselves with the Ayatollah. Those candidates include Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf and former police chief Ali Akbar Velayati.

Attempting to make a political comeback is Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a man who served as the country's president between 1989 and 1997. Rafsanjani faces questions about his age. He would be 78 years old when re-entering public office.