Iranian President Rouhani registers to run in May for a second term

Frederick Owens
April 21, 2017

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday he does not view recent US missile strikes on ally Syria as a message for Iran, which he called a "powerful country" that the USA can not harm.

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Rouhani vowed to remain loyal to the nuclear deal, and urged all Iranians to vote.

Political analysts said they expected Iranian voters to rally around Rouhani even though many complain that they have still seen few economic benefits from the lifting of sanctions. Raisi has little political experience, but has spent decades in powerful judicial and backroom positions, including as Iran's prosecutor-general.

Rouhani however set conditions of peace; "the road to peace is not a one-way route and all countries should have a will to keep peace and security in the region", he said, turning to the matter at hand, Iran's improved defense capabilities.

"His advice does not prevent me from running", he said.

Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council for Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg that despite sanctions against Iran being lifted, "people are not seeing a huge elevation for Iran in terms of the economy or its place on the worldwide stage".

For the time being, constant and green-friendly development, creating jobs and fighting social problems, say, poverty and addiction are among major concerns of his administration and he is determined to pace in this direction, Rouhani said.

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"Despite all the efforts of previous governments, the situation of the country is such that people ask why is there so much unemployment?"

However, he named one of his main allies and former deputy Hamid Baghaei as a candidate.

After a term out of office, Ahmadinejad is now permitted to stand again under Iran's constitution, but he still needs the approval of the 12-member Guardian Council which vets candidates, six members of which are appointed by Khamenei.

Whatever the outcome, Ahmadinejad's decision to seek another run for the presidency presents a dilemma to Iran's establishment.

The five-day registration period for the May 19 election began on Tuesday and will be followed by a process of vetting of the hopefuls by a hardline watchdog body, the Guardian Council.

However, despite months of talks, hardliners have been unable to unite behind a single candidate.

Rouhani has arrived at the Interior Ministry where candidates enroll, Trend correspondent reported April 14. 6- Believer and committed to the Islamic Republic of Iran's fundamentals and also official religion of the country.

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