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Vox Pop: Iranians React To Dismissal Of Presidential Hopefuls

A man reads a campaign pamphlet in central Tehran ahead of Iran's 2012 parliamentary elections.
RFE/RL's Radio Farda received a flood of comments via e-mail, Facebook, telephone, and on text messages from its audience in Iran that overwhelmingly express disappointment and anger at the Guardians Council's final list of candidates for Iran's June 14 presidential election.

In an informal poll conducted on Radio Farda's website, 76 percent of respondents said they believe Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will not use his powers to order the approval of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as candidates.

Many expressed the belief that Khamenei might play a game by initially refusing Rafsanjani's and Mashaei's candidacies, and then personally approving them to show who has the final say.

Caller from Bushehr:
"I want to ask the leaders of the Islamic republic, when they bestow so much praise upon the Guardians Council as the biggest source of wisdom and religious inspiration, how come this institution approved the credentials of [Mahmud] Ahmadinejad or [Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani or former candidate [Mahdi] Karrubi in the past and later the regime put all kinds of negative labels on these people. So what's the record of the Guardians Council in exercising wisdom?"

WHO'S WHO? The Shortlisted Candidates

Caller from Iran:
"I want to tell you brothers, we are not going to vote. These people are playing a game with us. We are not going to vote. Thanks."

SMS message from Bandar Abbas:
"When four years ago I put my ballot into the box with a lot of hope, they rigged the results. So when they do not respect our vote why should we bother to participate in the elections? Leila from Bandar Abbas"

FLASH ANALYSIS: RFE/RL's Iran and Iraq regional director on what the exclusions say about the regime

SMS from Iran:
"In my opinion whoever votes commits a crime."

SMS from Pakdasht:
"I express condolences to the absolutist regime of the supreme leader for the firm stand of the Iranian people who will refuse to vote in this election! Although the regime will stage some voting scenes by bringing Basijis to polling stations and filming them, God knows that this regime has no real support and base among the people. Arash from Pakdasht"

SMS from Iran:
"I congratulate the people for the rejection of those candidacies [by the Guardians Council]. The regime has ignited the fuse of its downfall."

SMS from Rey City:
"Mr. [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, Can you please one more time explain the meaning of free elections so we can really understand? My candidate was Mr. Rafsanjani, so I am not going take part in the appointment of a president. From Rey City"

SMS from Iran:
"None of those candidates who have been approved have their own free will. They are like puppets under the control of the supreme leader. No matter which one gets elected we should not count on any improvement. Tahere"

Facebook comment from Amir Nezam Mohaqeq in Iran:
"The regime, by keeping 10 percent of the population satisfied -- and these are really uninformed people -- rules over the other 90 percent with ease. It does not shy away from intimidating and silencing the majority. The regime is moving toward absolute dictatorship and has prepared all the means to become another North Korea.

...Intimidation and violence by the Revolutionary Guards, national Internet, sidelining whoever can be a somebody, accepting the sanctions and its insistence on isolating the country resulting in the impoverishment of the people."

Facebook comment from Iran: Mina Zebarjad
"I and my circle of family and friends intended to vote for Rafsanjani, but now we will not vote."