Iran's President Rouhani to run for second term

So how does it all work and what happens next?

A clearer picture will emerge next week when the conservative-controlled Guardian Council announces which of the near-1,000 registered candidates are allowed to run in the May 19 election. Under Iranian law, there's no fee for registering.

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. It's still a lot of candidates, though.

Ebrahim Raisi, the leading candidate for Iran's hardliners in next month's presidential election, has left many wondering whether the country's fragile opening to the West could be under threat.

Ahmadinejad's candidacy may be a stunt to ensure at least one of his acolytes makes the cut.

Political analysts said they expected Iranian voters to rally around Rouhani even though many complain that they have still seen few economic benefits from the lifting of sanctions.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad filed to run in Iran's upcoming presidential election, defying the wishes of the country's supreme leader that he not seek to return to the office.

He is considered a close ally of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who previous year appointed him to run the powerful charity-cum-business-empire Astan Qods Razavi (AQR), which oversees the Imam Reza shrine in the holy city of Mashhad. In 2013, it prevented ex-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from running.

"In every aspect that you consider, figures tell us that after the (nuclear deal), there is more space for movement and progress", he told reporters last week. That's not to say it will be easy for Rouhani.

Khamenei and his hardline allies have strongly criticized the slow pace of economic revival since the lifting of sanctions past year, part of the nuclear deal with six major powers whereby Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program. The council has not allowed women to run in the past.

Ahmadinejad said the strike on Syria could have happened even if Hillary Clinton had won the USA election.

In relevant remarks in February, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami underlined that the United States pressures can not debilitate Iran's determination and will to progress.

The inconsistent figures reflect the fact that not all executions in Iran are officially reported, as the Islamic Republic strives to limit the opportunities for domestic and global protest while maintaining its longstanding legal practices.

Tehran has always assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to the regional countries, saying that the Islamic Republic's defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

Within Iran's complex mix of clerical rulers and elected officials, Khamenei has the final say on all state matters. However, those who led Iran's Green Movement after Ahmadinejad's disputed 2009 re-election remain under house arrest.

He won the past presidential elections in 2013 with a total of 18,651,668 votes.

  • Leroy Wright