TEHRAN – In what appears to be a surprise move, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has filed to run in the country’s presidential election.
The development contradicts a recommendation from the nation’s Supreme Leader to avoid the contest against Hassan Rouhani but hard liners in the country seek a bold candidate to who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ahmadinejad previously said he wasn’t going to run after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised him not to.
At a press conference Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called Khamenei’s comments “just advice,” and described his registering for the election as helping Baghaei, a close confidant.
— Golnar Motevalli (@golnarM) April 12, 2017
Ahmadinejad’s decision to contest re-election is believed to be a mighty development in the purview of Syria war for which Saudi Arabia supports US.
Moreover, the move can be crucial citing the formation of Islamic military alliance devised by Saudi Arabia and thought to be headed by former Pakistani military head General (retd.) Raheel Sharif.
On the other hand, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is considered a moderate leader who also negotiated the the nuclear deal with world powers after a long-standing impasse during Ahmadinejad’s stint.
Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013. Under Iranian law, he became eligible to run again after four years out of office.
The presidential elections would take place in May.