Ahmadinejad in Trouble

Iranian president could be punished for electoral violations
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei / AP

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei / AP


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could face up to “74 lashes” with a whip for allegedly interfering in the country’s upcoming elections, according to regional media reports.

Iran’s election watchdog accused Ahmadinejad, the country’s longtime president who gained worldwide notoriety for his anti-Semitic and anti-American views, of breaking electoral rules earlier this week.

Ahmadinejad was caught “accompanying his former chief of staff to register for June’s presidential vote,” according to al Aribiyah, a Saudi-owned Middle East news network.

Iranian media reported over the weekend that Ahmadinejad helped his confidant and colleague Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei register as a candidate in the upcoming elections.

Iran’s election watchdog organization cited Ahmadinejad for this behavior and for appearing to endorse Mashaie, which constitutes a violation of Iranian election law, according to multiple reports.

Ahmadinejad is not personally eligible for another term in office.

The watchdog group said it would “seek possible charges against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for allegedly violating rules,” according to the Associated Press.

Middle East analysts told al Aribiyah that Ahmadinejad is not likely to be punished in the near term.

“There will be no lashing; the news is hyped and ridiculous,” Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh, the director of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies in London, was quoted as saying by al Arabiya on Monday.