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Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad Barred From Election

Tehran, the capital of Iran and Tehran Province

Iranian state TV says the body charged with vetting candidates has disqualified former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from running in next month’s presidential election.

Although Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run, Ahmadinejad shocked the country by registering last week.

Ahmadinejad was president from 2005 to 2013, and was best known abroad for his incendiary rhetoric toward Israel, his questioning of the scale of the Holocaust, and his efforts to ramp up Iran’s nuclear program.

Khamenei has said Ahmadinejad candidacy would create a “polarized situation” that would be “harmful for the county.”

State television said that incumbent Hassan Rohani and hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi have both been approved to run in the election, along with four other candidates.

Raisi, 56, who is close to Khamenei, is considered by many to be the 68-year-old Rohani’s main challenger.

Raisi is expected to draw support from Iran’s hard-line factions, including the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Full story: rferl.org

RFE/RL

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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