PHOTO: Supreme Leader casts his vote — But is it for Trump, Cruz, or Rubio?

Iran’s complex political process can be daunting to understand from outside. It is a system where the 12 men of the Guardian Council, appointed by the Supreme Leader and judiciary, control the fate of all candidates. The Council can disqualify thousands of applicants for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, including almost all those from Iran’s reformist movement and all women who sought a place on the 88-man Assembly.

But that is only the first of the layers. The Supreme Leader may accuse candidates and anyone who dares vote for them as accomplices to foreign-backed “sedition”. State media, senior clerics, and academic spokesmen can label any faction as being tools of Britain and the US. A candidate and indeed an entire faction might find their communications disrupted.

Then, of course, there is the far-from-minor issue of declaring the number of people who turn out to vote and — remember the 2009 Presidential contest — ensuring that a majority selected the right candidate.

Still confused? Political satirist Ebrahim Nabavi helps by explaining what would happen if the Guardian Council ran US elections.

1. Declare Bernie Sanders a heretic and roundup and arrest his followers.

2. Disqualify Hillary Clinton because of her husband’s illegitimate relations with Monica Lewinsky.

3. Disqualify Donald Trump because he’s rich and obviously corrupt. Then reinstate him as a revolutionary because of all the nonsense he says. Then demand his resignation and prosecution for financial crimes.

4. Shut down The New York Times and ban political ads from appearing on any TV channel, except Fox News, until the end of the elections.

5. Block access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram until after the elections and send Mark Zuckerberg to prison for acting against national security.

6. Ban Barack Obama’s image from appearing in the press and prohibit the media from broadcasting anything about his family.

7. Appoint the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy as election monitors.

8. Disqualify Jeb Bush because he’s not going to get enough votes, or ask him to step down and keep quiet until after the elections, or send him to prison for becoming a candidate.

9. Disqualify all candidates from the Democratic Party.

10. Approve the nominations of Mario Rubio and Ted Cruz. Then order the police to prevent any gatherings in support of Cruz and ban all his campaign posters. Then declare Rubio the winner with 63% of the vote.