Former Iranian president Rafsanjani enters presidential contest

Rafsanjani registered for Iran's presidential election minutes before the expiry of the deadline for candidates to declare, as well as Ahmadinejad ally Mashaie and Iran nuclear negotiator Jalili

Former Iranian president Rafsanjani enters presidential contest

World Bulletin/News Desk

Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani registered for Iran's presidential election minutes before the expiry of the deadline for candidates to declare, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

One of the Islamic Republic's best known figures, Rafsanjani has been marginalised since 2009 for his tacit support of reformist candidates who alleged that the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that year was rigged.

Iranian television showed Rafsanjani, 78, seated in the crowded presidential registration office, smiling and waving. He earlier served as president from 1989 to 1997.

Earlier, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has registered to run for president in the Islamic Republic's June 14 election, the state news agency IRNA said on Saturday.

Jalili, a veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, has since 2007 headed Iran's Supreme National Security Council and is regarded as a hardline conservative close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

An ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the centre of a split in Iran's leadership also registered on Saturday as a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported.

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, Ahmadinejad's former chief of staff, has been accused by conservative hardliners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as leading a "deviant current" that seeks to erode Islamic clerical authority in favour of a more nationalistic doctrine.

Their candidacy must still be approved by the conservative body of clerics and jurists known as the Guardian Council, which is expected to issue a final list of approved candidates in 10 days' time.

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2013, 17:26
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