Iran's president resisters to run in May elections

Apr 15, 2017, 01:05

The 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the Rohani administration lifted crippling economic sanction in return for Tehran's curbing of its nuclear ambitions.

"Once again, I am here for Iran, for Islam, for freedom and for more stability in this country", he told reporters on Friday as he registered his candidacy. "Our universities and our youth should feel more lively and delighted".

"I wouldn't be surprised if during the Iranian election on May 19, somebody assassinates the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani", said Avigdor Lieberman. We'll not go back halfway.

Rouhani also mentioned the giant joint gas field, the North Field, Iran will be developing with Qatar.

Four previous Iranian presidents - the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (who served as president in 1981-1989), Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013) - were re-elected for the second term.

In a new attempt to convince undecided voters and citizens disappointed with his policies, the Iranian President stressed that his government's economic performance was better than his predecessors' in recent years.

But the Iranian economy has failed to grow to hoped-for levels, and conservative hardliner Mr Raisi has overtaken him as the favourite.

Raisi in his first remarks after registering praised the country's democracy and the necessity of rule of law during the elections and afterward.

Raisi spent a decade as head of the Inspection Office from 1993, followed by 10 years as deputy head of the judiciary. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, an all-cleric body that will rule on Khamenei's succession.

Ultimate authority rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has accused the West of using women as a tool to advertise products and satisfy "disorderly and unlawful sexual needs".

The registration process, which opened on April 11, is set to conclude on Saturday.

On April 26-27, the Interior Ministry will formally announce a final shortlist of candidates approved by the Guardian Council.