Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Iran's president registers to run in May elections

Iran's president registers to run in May elections

He won election by a landslide in 2013 on a platform of ending the Islamic Republic's diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society, but faces a stiff challenge from conservative hardliners because of discontent over the economy.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani registered on Friday to run for a second four-year term in the country's May election.

Rouhani changed his tone when he said that Iran would not seek permission by any power to develop missile and air fighters; "balance of power in the region and securing our deterrence power are two major reasons that Iran should improve its defensive capabilities", he added.

In total, 1,636 people registered, including 137 women.

Seen as a proxy for Ahmadinejad after the former president was told not to stand by the supreme leader.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed previous year that he had recommended to Ahmadinejad not to enter the contest.

Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are both competing for the presidency ahead of elections in Iran next week.

Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is seeking to once again be a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, rejected any reason to be concerned about the efforts of US President Donald Trump and his administration to rein in Iran from enhancing and developing its missile program. In another Reuters report published on Friday, one former senior Iranian official was quoted as saying, "Rouhani is a regime insider".

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Rouhani also referred to his government's "successful" management of economic issues and said that he was able to curb the inflation, raise the rate of economic growth, stop depression and, to some extent, solve unemployment problem.

Influential Shi'ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi appears to be the leading choice so far.

An Iranian woman and her son walk past an Iranian missile on display in front of a large portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a square in south Tehran.

The registration process began on April 11 and will continue for five days.

Like all candidates, the 60-year-old must be vetted and approved by a powerful constitutional watchdog known as the Guardian Council before he can ultimately run.

The May 19 polls are widely seen as a referendum on the landmark 2015 nuclear deal for the Islamic republic to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of crippling global sanctions, and are expected to be a battle between reformists and hardliners.

He told reporters that the USA conspiracies, either economic sanctions or cultural onslaught and pressures in connection with other issues, had no effect on the Iranians' intention.

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