Iran's Rouhani registers to run for re-election

Ahmadinejad's decision shocked Iran as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered a thinly veiled warning in September that his candidacy would be a "polarized situation" that would be "harmful for the county".

Most of the analysts believe that Rouhani, Raisi and Ahmadinejad will be the three major candidates with political weight and ideological reflection, whose competition can heat up the furnace of election in Iran next month.

He sought to reach across political lines on Friday, saying: "I will be the candidate for the whole of Iran".

"The production capacity of industrial and defense organizations has increased by 148% and the exports of defense sector by 227 percent...", the president said, comparing the figures to those in 2013 when he took office.

During a speech Friday, Rouhani said he completed his campaign commitment of improving Iran's economy, an improvement he linked to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and China, France, Russia, Britain, United States, Germany and the European Union.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly brushed off USA threats to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

Rouhani has spent weeks defending his economic record, pushing back against critics who argue that ordinary people are yet to feel any benefits from the nuclear deal and subsequent lifting of sanctions.

"He lacks enough power to confront those who are against reforms, whether social or economic". His reelection in 2009, marred by fraud allegations, led to the biggest protests in Iran since the 1979 revolution."I merely registered here to support my dear brother, Baghaei", Mr. Ahmadinejad said, referring to Hamid Baghaei, his former vice president. He said he would run as an "independent" and described himself as a "soldier" of Iran.

The conservatives remain divided, but attention has lately focused on hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, 56, who runs the powerful Imam Reza charitable foundation. Baqaee also registered for the presidency.

In a new attempt to convince undecided voters and citizens disappointed with his policies, the Iranian President stressed that his government's economic performance was better than his predecessors' in recent years.

The chances of Ahmadinejad appearing on the final shortlist of hopefuls appear limited as it needs to be approved by the conservative Guardians Council that vets candidates for all elections, except for city councils. The council, which is made up of clerics and Islamic jurists, normally disqualifies dissidents, women, and many reformists.

  • Leroy Wright