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Iran's Guardians Council Might Seek Charges Against Ahmadinejad

Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad (center left) accompanied his close adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as he registered for the upcoming presidential election.
Iran's constitutional watchdog says it might seek to press charges against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad for violating election rules.

Ahmadinejad, who is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in the June 14 presidential election, accompanied his controversial chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, to the election registry office on May 11.

A spokesman for the Guardians Council was quoted by state television on May 12 as saying that Ahmadinejad had violated rules concerning public funds.

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said the claims against the president will be referred to the judiciary.

The spokesman said a conviction could bring a maximum punishment of six months in jail or 74 lashes.

Mashaei is accused by loyalists of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of being part of a "deviant current" opposing clerical rule.

The Guardians Council is responsible for deciding which candidates will appear on the election ballot.

Based on reporting by "The Telegraph" and AP