Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani chose not to stand in this year's Presidential election. But far from withdrawing from the political scene, Larijani may have made a shrewd move which stands to increase his power after June 14.
As the principlist candidates not only fail to find unity but reveal growing divisions amongst themselves, Larijani is able to watch and wait, and look to use his position to broker power with whoever becomes the next President.
For example, should Jalili be chosen as President, "Larijani will roll over the attempted choice of cabinet ministers in August," according to an EA correspondent in Iran.
The correspondent continues: "Larijani's strategy is very smart. He will be the one to whom conservatives turn after these elections".
On Sunday, Mehr News reported comments from Larijani, quoting him as saying that the authenticity of the council and Presidential elections should not be questioned and that the candidates must guard against enemy attempts to abuse the process.
The philosophy of holding those two races together was so that the country was not constantly engaged in elections, Larijani said.
Moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani has tweeted a video --- with English subtitles --- of Friday's campaign rally in Tehran showing his supporters cheering as he tells them: "The people don't want you [the incumbent government] any more…. God is Greatest! God is Greatest!"
Rouhani tells the crowd:
"All of us…. we seek change…. prudence and hope [the slogan of the Rouhani campaign].
Saeed Jalili has commented on Iran's sovereignty over three disputed islands in the Persian Gulf --- Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs --- saying that they are an integral part of Iran.
The islands are disputed with the United Arab Emirates.
Jalili also cautioned Iranians about the dire consequences of doubt and cynicism, saying that the enemy was attempting to undermine the country's strengths after realizing their "anti-Iran propaganda" was going nowhere.
BBC Persian reported that in his television documentary, Jalili revealed details of the arrest of Jundallah leader Abdul Malik Rigi.
In an indication of growing concern over the campaign of moderate Hassan Rouhani, Fars News --- close to the Revolutionary Guards --- has declared, from an "informed source", that the Guardian Council will discuss the candidacy tomorrow.
The source said the Council will re-examine Rouhani's qualifications, considering charges that he is being supported by leaders of "sedition" and lawlessness.
EA WorldView's Scott Lucas concludes a Washington Post feature, "Iran's Fragmented Opposition":
Is there still an organized Green Movement? No. Whatever was there, the authorities have been successful in breaking it up with detentions and crackdowns.
But the issues the protesters raised --- accountability, political transparency, reforms, openness --- are still there and very much alive. They just have no cohesive [means for expression.
Following last week's outburst of protest during a funeral march, memorial services for reformist Ayatollah Jalaleddin Taheri have been cancelled in Tehra and Qom.
The Qom service was scheduled for Friday, but was blocked by authorities. The opposition Kaleme website said the memorial will now only take place in Najafabad.
In Isfahan, some mourners broke into chants calling for freedom for detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and, referring to the Supreme Leader, shouted, "Death to the dictator."
Ayatollah Taheri critised the regime's response to protests after the Presidential election in 2009, which he said was fraudulent.
The last post on the Abrar website is from Monday.
According to Fars, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi has said that the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom supports the Supreme Leader's senior advisor Ali Akbar Velayati for the Presidency.
However, according to Radio France International's Persian channel, Ayatollah Rajabi has said that "not even 1/3" of the Seminary's members endorse Velayati.
Independent Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei said Saturday that Iran's youth an "asset and a resource" for running the country.
In an interview on State television, Rezaei said that if elected he also planned to prepare Iranian youth for the country's future.
Rezaei also discussed a creative plan to help young people to marry by providing them with dowries of up to 23 million romans. The former IRGC commander said that his campaign team had identified factories in Iran that produce home appliances and which could provide young people with such dowries.
According to Rezaei's plan, his administration would provide these factories with money to boost their production of home appliances. In return, the factories would contribute to dowries as well as providing young people with coupons.
The full interview, in Persian, can be seen below.
Hassan Rouhani's campaign team continues to portray the moderate candidate as attracting a large amount of popular support, posting another video this morning of Saturday's rally in a Tehran stadium.
The Rouhani campaign also tweeted a link to a set of photographs taken at the event by ISNA. The photographs include this image of two women supporters, one if whom holds a picture of Rouhani with former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, while the second woman holds a folded newspaper, with a photo of Rouhani.
In the wake of Friday's third --- and supposedly final --- televised Presidential debate on State TV, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting has said it may hold a fourth event, if it gets approval.
Press TV reports that IRIB's public relations MD, Taqi Sohrabi, said that the Presidential candidates themselves as well as Iranians had asked for more debates.
Some of the Presidential candidates, however, have slammed IRIB over the debate. Independent candidate Mohsen Rezaei complained about being censored and moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani criticized the format of the debates: