Tehran, April 12: Former President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered to run in the upcoming presidential elections. Ahmadinejad had earlier reiterated that he would not stand for the elections, on the recommendation of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Despite entering the poll fray, Ahmadinejad claims that he is not interested to contest for the presidential post, adding that he would only electioneer for Hamid Baghaei, his former deputy.
Ahmadinejad’s registration for Iran presidential elections surprised political experts of the Islamic Republic. However, the 60-year-old said that his committed to the “moral promise” made to Khamenei, assuring him that he would remain out of the presidential race. Ahmadinejad was quick to add that Khamenei’s “advice was not a ban”.
“I repeat that I am committed to my moral promise [of not running] and my presence and registration is only to support Mr Baghaie,” he was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
Ahmadinejad had served as President of Iran for a consecutive eight years, beginning from 2005. He was replaced in the 2013 presidential elections, when the country voted for moderate leader Hassan Rouhani.
Ahmadinejad presided over two of the most turbulent terms in the Iranian Republic. During his regime, domestic polarisation, international isolationism and deteriorating economy plagued Iran. The massive protest by moderate forces during his second term reminisced scenes from the Khomeni revolution of 1979.
Despite being credited for the massive damage caused to Iranian economy over the past decade, Ahmadinejad remains a heroic figure among the economically poorer sections of the society, owing to his staunch patriatic image, populist approach and humble roots.