Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set to run in upcoming elections

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surprised Iran’s clerical establishment by registering for the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for the 19th of May, defying the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader’s warning not to enter the race. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed last year that he had recommended to Ahmadinejad not to enter the contest, but after his registration, the former Iranian President told journalists that Khamenei’s recommendation was “just advice”. Ahmadinejad’s legacy prompted international isolation for the Islamic Republic, with the former President aspiring to provide Iran with a significant nuclear program, which even though claimed to be peaceful, aspired to reached weapons grade capabilities. 

“We believe that all countries and nations are entitled to technological and scientific advancement in all fields and particularly the peaceful technology to produce nuclear fuel. Such access cannot be restricted to a few, depriving most nations and therefore establishing economic monopolies,” said Ahmadinejad.

Israel was the main advocate for international sanctions on Iran, which crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy, as Ahmadinejad has promised on several occasions to ‘wipe Israel off the map’. “I want to tell them (western countries) just as the Soviet Union ceased to exist and today there is no trace of it, so will the Zionist regime soon disappear,” added the former President.

In leading the Islamic rhetoric against the Jewish state, the former Iranian President led the voice of Holocaust denial, while promising Tehran’s commitment to grant the land of Israel to the Palestinian nation. ” Iran condemns fabricating such a pretext (the Holocaust) to tell tall stories in order to allow genocide to be committed against the Palestinian nation.”

Ahmadinejad was required to step down from his post because of Iranian term limit rules in 2013, when President Hassan Rouhani won a landslide victory on a promise to reduce Iran’s international isolation – a vow he kept after reaching a nuclear agreement with world powers, including the United States under the Obama Administration, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany. After a term out of office, Ahmadinejad, who has declared the nuclear agreement a mistake, is now permitted to run for office once again under Iran’s constitution, but he still needs the approval of a 12-member Guardian Council which vets Presidential candidates, six members of which are appointed by the country’s Supreme leader.