Iranian President Rouhani to seek a second term

Hassan Rouhani (L) , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) and Ebrahim Raisi.
Hassan Rouhani (L) , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) and Ebrahim Raisi.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani registered on Friday to run for a second four-year term, state television said, buoyed by Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers though facing a hardline conservative challenge over his economic record.

“Once again, I am here for Iran, for Islam, for freedom and for more stability in this country. I am urging all Iranians to vote for Iran and for Islam,” Rouhani told reporters.

“From today, protecting the nuclear deal is one of my main plans in political and economic fields,” he said, alluding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s dislike of the pact reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and also to Iranian hardliners who opposed Rouhani’s pursuit of detente with the West.

He won election by a landslide in 2013 on a platform of ending the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society. But the oil-based economy’s struggle to rebound since the lifting of sanctions as part of the nuclear accord could be exploited by Rouhani’s hardline foes this time around.

Many Iranians have grown impatient with the slow rate of improvement in their economic fortunes since international financial and trade sanctions were lifted after Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity under its deal with six world powers.

Influential Shi’ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of a powerful organization in charge of Iran’s holiest shrine, appears to be the leading hardline candidate. He also registered on Friday.

“The people’s vote will determine the country’s fate…The economic status quo in Iran can improve,” Raisi, an ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told reporters.

Rouhani won in a single round with more than 50 percent of the vote in 2013 when no other candidate took more than 17 percent, but may face a tougher campaign this time if often-feuding hardliners can join forces against him.

But despite months of talks, hardliners have been unable to unite behind a single candidate and Khamenei appears to have not yet intervened to make them do so.

Within Iran’s complex mix of clerical rulers and elected officials, Khamenei has the final say on all state matters.

But some prominent conservatives, including parliament speaker Ali Larijani, have thrown their weight behind Rouhani, believing Iran would benefit from a limited opening to the West and aware that this is what many younger voters want.

The five-day registration period for the May 19 election began on Tuesday and will be followed by a process of vetting of the hopefuls by a hardline watchdog body, the Guardian Council.

More than 1,010 people have signed up so far for the vote.

Several former ministers and hardline former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are among those who have registered.





5 responses to “Iranian President Rouhani to seek a second term”

  1. MekensehParty Avatar

    Hey Omega, did you register?

  2. wargame1 Avatar

    Nuri Al Maliki handed over Iraqi cities to ISIS. A representative of prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad, Ibrahim al-Jabri, said on Friday that former Iraqi Prime Minister “Nouri al-Maliki is behind the current crises that have hit Iraq,” adding: “Maliki handed over several Iraqi provinces to ISIS.”

  3. Does it really matter who runs and who wins? The Iranian president position has no power and is merely a reflection of the mood Khamenei is in. Ahmadinejad was brought back in service to offset the aggressive nature of Trump.
    The real joke is on the Iranian people that think it might make a difference who gets the position of spokesman(puppet) for Khamenei, when he picks who will run and win. The rest of the Iranian election is simply for show and entertainment for the population who have very little entertainment that isn’t illegal in this Islamic State.

  4. I really wonder why Iran has any presidential elections . After all the the Supreme Leader of Iran ( Ali Khamenei) is much more powerful than the president . He is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority . The armed forces, judicial system, state television, and other key governmental organizations are all under his control . While the president is elected by the people, the Supreme Leader is appointed by the Assembly of Experts. All candidates to the Assembly of Experts, the President and the Majlis (Parliament), are selected by the Guardian Council, whose members are selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran. As such, the Assembly has never questioned the Supreme Leader.
    Khamenei’s grip on Iran’s politics and its military forces has been apparent for years according to a 2013 report by Reuters. The investigation into Setad showed that there is a third dimension to his power: economic might. He is reportedly by far the richest man in Iran and controls a financial empire worth an estimated US$95 billion

    1. Danny Farah Avatar
      Danny Farah

      I know I wonder that too in Lebanon why do we have Presidential Elections, Parliaments when Nassrallah and Berri are ruling Lebanon one with guns and the other with Machetes.. Now they want to make it more legal by taking the majority of posts in the government. this way they have no nuissance from LF and Kataeb and Oranges and Walid beik..

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