News Worms
News Worms


Iran's president resisters to run in May elections

Rouhani, a former top security official, also said that major powers have always sought their interests in the Middle East region and have undermined regional security and stability.

Many wonder why he would risk a run for the presidency if, as speculated, he is being considered as a possible future supreme leader.

Ardavan Amir-Aslani, a French-Iranian lawyer who advises European companies setting up in Iran, said he would be surprised if Rouhani does not win re-election despite the economic malaise.

Among them, three main political figures, namely incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, principlist cleric Ebrahim Raisi, and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, drew attentions and were at the focus of every camera. The last similar turnout was Iran's 2005 election, which saw more than 1,000 register.

Some erstwhile supporters who had hoped for radical social changes under his presidency are also critical, saying he has failed to stand up to Iran's conservative religious establishment.

The upcoming vote will be seen, among other things, as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, under which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

Once the process ends on Saturday, the prospective candidates will be screened for their political and Islamic qualifications by the Guardian Council. Judge and cleric Ebrahim Raisi, a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the leading hardline candidate, however, Khamenei has yet to unite the hardliners behind him. The council controls elections and must approve all laws passed by parliament. Several former ministers and hardline former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are among those who have registered.

He said Iran had never had "aggressive aims, but peace is not a one-way road and if we decide to be peaceful the other party. may not". Both Mr Raisi and his father-in-law have seats on the Assembly of Experts that will choose the next supreme leader - a position for which Mr Raisi himself is often rumoured to be in the running. The supreme leader also serves as the country's commander in chief over its military and the powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force involved in the wars in Iraq and Syria that also has vast economic holdings across Iran. "I think the fact that Raisi is coming, unless he steps aside, it looks very unlikely to me that the nezam [ruling system] would allow Raisi to be humiliated in an election".

The Iranian Defense Ministry has showcased its recent technological achievements, including a jet designed indigenously for training purposes and other items that were being made public for the first time.

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