Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registers to run for Iran's next president

Though Ahmadinejad still might not be approved for the ballot by Iran's clerically overseen government, merely the mention of the Holocaust-questioning populist might energize hard-liners who want a Persian answer to U.S. President Donald Trump.

In shock rejection of supreme leader's advice, Ahmadinejad registers for election.

"I didn't tell him don't run, I said it's not in your own or the country's best interests to run", Khamenei said at that time, according to Fars news agency.

The memory of the 2009 unrest is thought to have sparked Ayatollah Khamenei's comments in September. His pro-reform rivals said that vote was rigged.

Ahmadinejad, who had a rift with Khamenei in his final years of office, announced in a public statement in October that he would abide by the order and would not run.

President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday evening that he was about to take decisive steps to end the current division between.

The registration for the election began on Monday and will last five days. The controversial leader rose to prominence in Iran by employing hardline rhetoric against not only the "Great Satan", the United States, but also against regional Sunni powers such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Just when it appeared Ahmadinejad would be leaving, he turned around and returned to the Interior Ministry's registration desk, pulling out his identification documents with a flourish in front of a melee of shouting journalists.

"Khamenei will not forget this move, which was aimed to harm his image", said political analyst Hamid Farahvashian. "I'll be serving Mr Baghaei with all my power". The benefits have yet to trickle down to the average Iranian, however, fueling some discontent. "Ahmadinejad will probably turn into the Boris Yeltsin of Iran". Rouhani spent the majority of the conference defending his record on helping improve conditions for poor Iranians and the benefits that the country's has experienced from his efforts to lift global sanctions.

The registration move is expected to set up a stark confrontation with presidential hopefuls on the principlist front, particularly cleric Ebrahim Raisi who is seen as a main challenger to pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani who is constitutionally allowed to seek a second term.

Although Mr Rouhani won in a single round with more than 50 per cent of the vote four years ago when no other candidate won more than 17 per cent, he could face a more hard campaign this time if hardliners unite against him.

  • Leroy Wright