Rouhani's main rival registers to run in Iranian presidential election

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Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims the USA military's strike on Syria would have happened regardless of who the president was, and says Donald Trump is simply carrying out the wishes of the real people in power.

"Despite all the efforts of previous governments, the situation of the country is such that people ask why is there so much unemployment?" he said, adding that he would announce detailed economic plans at a later date.

However, Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that the Supreme Leader never barred him from rerunning for the presidency.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran's upcoming presidential election likely will pit incumbent President Hassan Rouhani against a variety of contenders, but first all must be vetted by a panel as part of the Islamic Republic's one-of-a-kind government. The last similar turnout was Iran's 2005 election, which saw more than 1,000 register. That's not to say it will be easy for Rouhani.

Upcoming vote will be seen, among other things, as a referendum on the landmark nuclear deal signed with world powers. For voters, the economy matters. Conservatives say it was political suicide, but analysts say the 61-year-old may simply be trying to put pressure on the Guardian Council to approve his ally Hamid Baghaie. "It would be very unsafe to pin former President Ahmadinejad as being just a principlist... because there's a lot of the things that he has done within Iran in terms of internal policies that could qualify as being reformist".

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"Those who are the directors must give the role (of president) to a person who can pull it off best", said Ahmadinejad. The panel also declared Ahmadinejad won the 2009 election despite widespread fraud allegations.

In relevant remarks in February, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami underlined that the U.S. pressures can not debilitate Iran's determination and will to progress.

The candidate should basically be an Iranian national, prudent and capable of taking on leadership duties, and being religious and believing in the Islamic republic's principles and its official religion.

His father-in-law leads Friday prayers in Mashhad and both have seats on the Assembly of Experts that will choose the next supreme leader - a position for which Raisi himself is often rumoured to be in the running. "I think the fact that Raisi is coming, unless he steps aside, it looks very unlikely to me that the nezam [ruling system] would allow Raisi to be humiliated in an election". Security forces answering only to the supreme leader also routinely arrest dual nationals and foreigners, using them as pawns in worldwide negotiations.

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