Ahmadinejad planning presidential run

Nick Mcbride
April 19, 2017

"TEHRAN, Iran â€" Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday stunned the country by unexpectedly filing to run in the May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the supreme leader to stay out of the race. The deal allowed Iran to return to global markets in exchange for curbing its nuclear weapons program. These practices including not only the maintenance of the largest per-capita rate of executions in the world, but also internationally-outlawed execution of offenders who were below the age of majority, and the use of other forms of corporal punishment including flogging, amputations, and blinding.

"He has no experience in foreign policy, so at least initially he will have to follow the system's grand strategy of preserving the nuclear deal and shifting any blame of undermining it to the U.S.", said Ali Vaez, Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran's upcoming presidential election likely will pit incumbent President Hassan Rouhani against a variety of contenders, but first all must be vetted by a panel as part of the Islamic Republic's one-of-a-kind government.

The election on May 19 is seen by many as a referendum on the nuclear agreement and its ability to improve the country's sanctions-burdened economy.

Every Iranian president since Khamenei himself took the presidency in 1981 has won re-election, making Rouhani the presumed front-runner long before the vote. He arrived at the registration committee center for presenting his candidacy papers a few hours after "moderate" Rouhani had applied in hopes of winning over a second term in office.

The Guardian Council, which normally does not approve dissidents or women, will announce the final list of candidates by April 27. Raisi is also a prosecutor at the Special Cleric Court.

There was no immediate reaction from the supreme leader's office.

Ahmadinejad had ruled out running in the wake of Khamenei's comments in September, but after reversing course this week he called the supreme leader's comments "just advice" that does not prevent him from running. Iran has since resumed selling oil and signed deals worth billions of dollars to replace its aging commercial airline inventory. However, critics say Iranians have yet to feel the economic benefits.

Influential cleric Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of a powerful organization in charge of Iran's holiest shrine, appears to be the leading hardline candidate.

It says its missiles are key to deterring a USA or Israeli attack.

Other reports by VgToday

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