The BBC and others are reporting that candidates for Iran’s upcoming presidential “elections” have begun to register. As readers of this blog are aware, Iran’s elections are really “selections”, not competitive electoral contests. In fact, the number of individuals deemed “qualified” by the Guardian Council is exceedingly small. From the BBC:

In 2009, 475 hopefuls registered as candidates, but the Guardian Council, whose 12 members are either directly or indirectly appointed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, only gave its approval to four.

Of those four, two remain under house arrest.

So based on 2009, if you want to run for President you have a .0084 chance of being deemed qualified. But if you are deemed qualified you have a 50% chance of being arrested and placed under house arrest. On a brighter note, if you are “qualified”, at least you seem to have a 25% chance of winning! (This was closer actually closer to 100% for Mr. Ahmadinejad, but who cares?)

So, what’s your over/under on approved candidates this year? And if you were an Iranian politician, is getting in the race worth the gamble?