While much of the senior clergy is skeptical of Ahmadinejad, 83-year-old Jannati is the President's key ideological and spiritual ally. Viewed as the most radical of Iran's senior clerics, he heads the 12-member Guardian Council that oversees elections. The Council has been asked by Ayatullah Khamenei to review opposition complaints over the election. Virulently opposed to Israel and the U.S., Jannati has repeatedly used his authority in the Guardian Council to disqualify Iranian reformists seeking the presidency or a seat in parliament, arguing that the "first and foremost" requirement for any candidate for elected office in Iran is unwavering fealty to the absolute rule of the Supreme Leader. Jannati is also the founder of a religious school in Qom that emphasizes belief in the Mehdi, or Hidden Imam, who tradition says will reappear amid global chaos to spread Islam throughout the world. Others among the senior clergy are leery of promoting such millenarian beliefs.