Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became President of Iran in May 2005 with the support of the fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Taqi Mesbah and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s conservatives, defeating Hashemi Rafsanjani’s pragmatists and the reformists of Mohamed Khatami. However, it appears that the tacit alliance between Khamenei and Mesbah broke down, and a new alliance was established with Rafsanjani, backed by the conservatives, pragmatists and reformists in the elections for the Assembly of Experts, to curb the political and institutional threat represented by the growth of the fundamentalists. In the local elections, the reformists presented joint lists to recover the positions lost earlier in the 2003 elections to the conservatives and fundamentalists. The Council of Guardians – responsible for vetoing presumptive candidates in both cases – cleared the way for the conservative candidates, vetoing a large number of reformist, fundamentalist and independent candidates.
This observation mission was made possible thanks to support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional - AECI) to TEIM Election Watch.