TEHRAN: The grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been excluded from contesting elections next month, his son said Tuesday.
Hassan Khomeini, a 43-year-old cleric with close ties to Iranian reformists, was not verified as having sufficient religious competence by the Guardian Council, his son Ahmad said on his Instagram account, despite “testimony from dozens of religious authorities”.
Khomeini had hoped to be a candidate for election to the Assembly of Experts, a powerful group of clerics which monitors the work of Iran’s current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni, and will be responsible for selecting his successor.
Elections to the 88-member Assembly and for parliament’s 290 lawmakers will take place on February 26.
Khomeini, who would have been the first member of the family to run for public office, was among hundreds of hopefuls whose candidacy was not approved.
A Guardian Council spokesperson, quoted on state television’s website, said rejected candidates had until January 30 to lodge an appeal.
The younger Khomeini is not a prominent public figure and his candidacy had been contentious because of his connections to reformists, who have been hoping for a political comeback after long being sidelined.
The Guardian Council is dominated by conservatives.
Khomeini’s son added on Instagram: “In my opinion, the reason for non-verification is clear to everyone.”