Rouhani to run for second term as president of Iran

He urged the Iranians, particularly, the youngsters, to actively participate in the upcoming presidential elections. "Those who sympathise with the heads of sedition must know that the great nation of Iran will never forgive this great injustice", he said in 2014.

Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013.

The death of Ayatollah Rafsanjani left a political gap which would be compounded if Aytaollah Khamenei was to leave office before, during, or just after the Presidential elections. Iran's economy suffered under heavy worldwide sanctions during his administration because of Western suspicions that Tehran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

So far Ahmadinejad has refrained from repeating the harshest of his earlier political statements, including calls for destruction of Israel and challenging the scale of the Holocaust. "There is extensive pressure on me from dear people of different walks of life as their small servant to come to the election". Ever since his falling-out with Khamenei, which was over the selection of the minister of intelligence, a position that requires the supreme leader's approval, Ahmadinejad has been presenting himself as an anti-establishment figure - someone who is not afraid to ignore the will of Khamenei.

He registered to run on the same day as did his former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, saying at the time his decision was meant to support his political ally.

Ahmadinejad, a capricious nominee, registered for the May 19 vote on Wednesday despite the recommendation of the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that he stay out of the race.

But insiders said disqualifying a sitting president might be very costly for the establishment, especially given a hostile USA administration in Washington.

More than 280 people have filed as possible candidates since registration began Tuesday, including 13 women.

The Guardian Council will assess the qualification of the applicants and announce the names of the qualified candidates by April 27.

Experts said the reformist Jahangiri could be running as a potential alternative should Rouhani be disqualified by the Guardian Council, which vets candidates before they can appear on the ballot.

He added, "Maintaining regional balance and preemptive power is essential for a country like Iran which has endangered interests of major powers and sent message of justice and freedom to the world".

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.

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