World Iran's Ahmadinejad disqualified from presidential election

22:52  20 april  2017
22:52  20 april  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Rouhani defends record as Iran hard-liner bids to replace him

  Rouhani defends record as Iran hard-liner bids to replace him <p>President Hassan Rouhani, credited with ending Iran’s international isolation with the landmark nuclear accord in 2015, defended his economic record ahead of next month’s presidential election — a race jolted last week by the surprise entry of a prominent hard-line cleric.</p>Speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Rouhani, who is widely expected to seek a second term, pushed back against criticism that poor Iranians have seen little benefit from the deal and lifting of sanctions. The economy has improved under his government, which stabilized the currency, curbed inflation and bolstered growth, he said on Monday.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the leading opposition-backed candidate in Iran ' s presidential election , was disqualified on Tuesday from standing in a blow to those hoping for significant change when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves office.

Official campaigning by the 8 approved presidential candidates will start on Friday. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he will contest Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is also among those disqualified . Iran ' s Guardian Council decides who can stand in the elections on June 14.

FILE- In this Wednesday, April, 5, 2017 file photo, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has filed to run in the country's May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the nation's Supreme Leader to stay out of the race. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Wednesday, April, 5, 2017 file photo, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has filed to run in the country's May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the nation's Supreme Leader to stay out of the race. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File) TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state TV says the clerical body charged with vetting candidates has disqualified former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from running in next month's presidential election.

Ahmadinejad, who remains a deeply polarizing figure even among Iranian hard-liners, had shocked the country by registering last week. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run.

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.

The Guardian Council, a clerical body that vets candidates, said it had compiled a final list of candidates earlier Thursday and that the Interior Ministry would announce their names by Sunday.

The ayatollah’s favorite didn’t do so well Friday’s Iranian presidential debate .
<p>Just a few days ago, hard line cleric Ebrahim Raisi was the contender to watch in the race to unseat Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. By the weekend, his candidacy was already in doubt.</p>In the harsh, fast-paced politicking typical of Iran’s campaign season, Raisi's candidacy quickly foundered after his poor performance in a live television debate.

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