Iran: President Rouhani registers to run for 2nd term

So how does it all work and what happens next? At least 120 people have registered as candidates. Pursuant to the Iranian law, that process can be extended for 4 days.

Others believe Rouhani has depleted his political capital with the Supreme Leader by securing his consent to the 2015 nuclear deal, leaving nothing for domestic reforms. That gives gadflies and publicity seekers the chance to smile and wave to gathered journalists.

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

In his remarks Saturday, Rouhani also said that Iran's development of ballistic missiles was necessary to prevent "the crimes and acts of aggression" of the United States and other regional powers.

Following Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's recommendation in December that Ahmadinejad stay out of the race, moderate President Hassan Rouhani was seen to have a wide-open path to reelection.

Speaking at a defense ministry event to show off new Iranian-made weapons, Rouhani claimed that the country's development of ballistic missiles and other advanced arms is strictly for defensive purposes.

For the time being, constant and green-friendly development, creating jobs and fighting social problems, say, poverty and addiction are among major concerns of his administration and he is determined to pace in this direction, Rouhani said. For voters, the economy matters. The previous day, Rouhani's predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shocked the political establishment and much of the world by registering as a candidate himself, which he is permitted to do after taking a one-term gap after serving his two terms from 2005 to 2013.

In relevant remarks in February, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami underlined that the USA pressures can not debilitate Iran's determination and will to progress. 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. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, an all-cleric body that will rule on Khamenei's succession. He has held several sensitive jobs in the Islamic Republic, including representing Khamenei for 25 years at the Supreme National Security Council.

The disputed re-election of Mr Ahmadinejad in 2009 triggered the biggest protests in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

  • Leroy Wright