Rouhani enters presidential race

18 April, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad speaks during a press conference with Former Iranian Vice President Hamid Baghaei in Tehran Iran

Rouhani will be facing a tougher-than-expected competition in the upcoming election, despite being the driving force behind a nuclear deal with world powers which ended years of sanctions.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently surprised everyone by joining the presidential race, has given an interview in which he called Iran a "powerful country" that the "US administration can not hurt" and voiced support for the nuclear deal deal struck between Iran and global powers in 2015, APA reports quoting Sputnik.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that his country will continue progress and growth in the production of different defense systems and weapons, including missiles, with no care for enemies' opposition.

Ahmadinejad joint to elections race despite Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's advice for him to avoid registration in elections.

The 56-year-old judge, who now runs the powerful charity-cum-business-empire Astan Qods Razavi, has emphasised his concern for the poor and is seen as a close ally of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The 68-year-old moderate cleric, who prioritized engagement with the West and was the architect of Iran's 2015 landmark nuclear deal, registered for the May 19 poll at the interior ministry on Friday.

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Earlier on Wednesday former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his close ally Hamid Baghaei also filed to run for the presidency. According to Article 35 of Iranian election law, people who want to register themselves for the presidential election must have these eligibilities: 1- Religious/ political figure.

Influential Shi'ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi appears to be the leading choice so far.

"It's in clear defiance of what the supreme leader had stated very openly and very publicly", said Ellie Geranmayeh, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "JCPOA in Iran is not seen as a giant triumph, and for me the problem for me is the way Rouhani sold it", Ansari said.

The clerical body will announce a final list of vetted candidates on 27 April.

Khamenei and his hardline allies have strongly criticized the slow pace of economic revival since the lifting of sanctions a year ago, part of the nuclear deal with six major powers whereby Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program.

Critics of the nuclear deal say that the supposed economic benefits of lifted sanctions have yet to trickle down to average Iranians, and palpable frustration in the streets has created a potential opening for conservative opponents.



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