Sadeq Larijani, the head of the judiciary, and Hassan Rowhani met Rafsanjani and told him Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not want him as a candidate and he should withdraw from the race, news has revealed.

Rafsanjani is said to have refused and insisted the people had asked him to solve the nation’s problems, and registered as a candidate at the last moment on May 11. 

As a result, Khamenei – who is believed to have feared revelations Rafsanjani may make about him – ordered the Guardian Council to disqualify him – an act that created even further rifts within his inner circle.