Mohammad Reza Bahonar, a spokesman for the fundamentalist faction in Majlis, yesterday surprised all politicos in Tehran with a bold assertion that there was no way imaginable for the fundamentalists to loose the elections for the 8th Majlis ( scheduled for May 2008). The moderates protested the remarks by the deputy speaker. It was not clear to them whether Bahonar was just making a wild prediction, or was delivering a veiled threat on behalf of the right-wingers that they would not accept a defeat, peoples’ votes notwithstanding.
Just four months ago the Guardian Council used its vetting process to disqualify 340 candidates for the Assembly of Experts, a stunning 67% of all the hopefuls. Bahonar’s prediction, in the face of the growing unpopularity of the government, can indeed be viewed as a threat, if not as a wishful thinking that God might answer the fundamentalists' prayers.