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Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad: US 'cannot hurt Iran'

Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad: US 'cannot hurt Iran'

"He is not a reformist but a bridge between hardliners and reformists", said a former senior official.

The president's constitutional powers are limited.

He won election by a landslide in 2013 on a platform of ending the Islamic Republic's diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society.

In September 2016, local media quoted Iran's Supreme Leader as saying that "I do not find it advisable that you (Ahmadinejad) participate" in the next presidential elections.

As reported by The Indian Express, the question was raised for two reasons, the first being the announcement at the beginning of Trump's reign that Iran was being "put on notice" in regards to their frequent missile tests, and second the execution of said airstrike on Syria at the hands of the United States government.

According to Shakdam, Ahmadinejad's decision to run was not an act of defiance but simply a choice based on his willingness to offer a "different kind of a flavor in politics" and ensure that the voices of his faction are heard, especially in the context of the current tension between the US, Iran and Russian Federation, and around the Middle East in general. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, an all-cleric body that will rule on Khamenei's succession. The latter will choose the country's next supreme leader.

Many Iranians have grown impatient with the slow rate of improvement in their economic fortunes since worldwide financial and trade sanctions were lifted after Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity under its deal with six world powers.

The conservatives remain divided, but Raisi appears to have the most momentum.

The aggressive stance of US President Donald Trump, who has slapped new sanctions on Iran and threatened to tear up the nuclear deal, has bolstered conservative claims that Rouhani was duped by the West. He suggested the US presidency is decided behind closed doors.

On April 28, candidates start campaigning until 24 hours before May 19, the voting date for the 12th presidential and 5th city and council elections.

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.

Ebrahim Raisi, 56, a hard-line cleric close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on April 14 filed to run and is considered by many to be the 68-year-old Rohani's main challenger.

He has made much of his successes in controlling inflation and reaching a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions.

"Rouhani is still very popular and he is in a very strong position". Rouhani registered on Friday with Iran's Interior Ministry, but all candidates in Iran's election - almost 900 so far - must be approved by the Guardian Council, which is expected to announce qualified candidates on April 27.


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