On Wednesday, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced he would be running for office again in the May presidential election, despite calls not to by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
According to the Associated Press, Khamenei requested Ahmadinejad to sit out from running in favor Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. There has not been any official filing from Rouhani regarding a reelection run, but Khamenei suggests that it would a “polarizing situation” and “harmful for the country” if Ahmadinejad sought a bid.
Ahmadinejad served two four-year terms between 2005 and 2013, and was also notoriously involved in a bloody reelection campaign in 2009. The contentious reelection caused civil unrest with thousands of Iranians being detained and dozens killed.
Despite negative reaction towards his proposed run, Ahmadinejad made the following statement to his detractors:
“[Khamenei’s] advice does not prevent me from running. There is extensive pressure on me from dear people of different walks of life as their small servant to come to the election.”
The AP reports that an anonymous Iranian official believes the move for Ahmadinejad to run for office again is “organized mutiny against Iran’s ruling system.” The election will be held on May 19.
H/T: The Hill
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