Former Iran President Ahmadinejad Registers For May Presidential Election

Cheryl Sanders
April 16, 2017

The decision to enroll was highly unexpected after Supreme leader Khamenei advised the former President not to run for election, something which Ahmadinejad agreed to himself past year.

More than 120 prospective candidates submitted their names as candidates on the first day of registration on Tuesday, including six women and seven clerics.

Before the former president can run again, he has to be approved by Iran's Guardian Council.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed previous year that he had recommended to Mr Ahmadinejad not to enter the contest. During his term, the UN Security Council imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.

Amhadinejad's former deputy Hamid Baghaie was their front-runner until Ahmadinejad popped up, and they are now joined by three-times candidate Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the mayor of Tehran.

"The supreme leader requested that I don't stand and I had accepted", Mr Ahmadinejad told reporters.

The re-election of Ahmadinejad in 2009 sparked huge protests across the country as allegations spread of electoral fraud.

"Essentially, they feel that if the government tells them Israel is bad, the truth must be that Israel is actually pretty good", she says.

He added that the Guardian Council would find it hard to disqualify Ahmadinejad, a two-time president who previously had the firm support of conservatives and the supreme leader.

The Supreme Leader said past year, without naming him, that Ahmadinejad's candidacy is not in the interest of the Iranian people, therefore calling on him not to run.

Khamenei's office did not issue any immediate reaction to Ahmadinejad's attempt to run.

Ebrahim Raisi, a judge who now heads the powerful Imam Reza charitable foundation in the Shiite Muslim holy city of Mashhad, topped the shortlist.

The former hardline president, Ahmadinejad, was a two-term president for 8 years, before President Hassan Rouhani took the office in 2013 election.

The most high-profile candidate to register thus far is former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Baghaei, 48, was held under arrest in 2015 for nearly seven months on charges that were not made public but many suspected were related to corruption.

In 2015 Rouhani signed the historic nuclear deal, which may have limited Tehran's nuclear ability but lifted worldwide oil and financial sanctions which had significantly hurt the country's economy. Ahmadinejad unexpected move could challenge that perception.

Mr Rouhani and his allies have criticisedMr Ahmadinejad's free-spending policies for fuelling inflation and accuse him of wasting Iran's oil revenues.

Other reports by iNewsToday