Tehran, May 12
Iran’s former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered on Wednesday to run again for the Islamic Republic’s presidency, raising the possibility that the populist leader who rapidly advanced Tehran’s nuclear programme to challenge the West could return to the country’s top civilian post.
Ahmadinejad’s attempt to run again in 2017 disregarded the words of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had warned the firebrand, Holocaust-questioning politician his standing for office would be a “polarised situation” that would be “harmful for the county.” This time, however, Khamenei seemingly isn’t directly challenging the candidacy of the 64-year-old former Tehran mayor, who joins a wide-open election to replace the relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
A council Khamenei oversees ultimately will determine if Ahmadinejad and other hopefuls can run in the June 18 poll. Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013. — Agencies