Ahmadinejad submits name for Iran presidential election

Hassan Rouhani waves to media as he arrives at the Interior Ministry to register his candidacy for the May 19 presidential elections in Tehran Iran Friday

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has submitted his name for candidacy in this year's presidential election. Speaking on state-rum television, Rouhani said, "We will ask no one's permission to build up the armed forces, and to build missiles and aircraft".

Rouhani vowed to remain loyal to the nuclear deal, and urged all Iranians to vote. The vote is being cast as a referendum on the historic nuclear deal.

But disappointment with the 68-year-old's administration is palpable on the streets of Iran.

Who are the other candidates?

"He has no experience in foreign policy, so at least initially he will have to follow the system's grand strategy of preserving the nuclear deal and shifting any blame of undermining it to the U.S.", said International Crisis Group Iran analyst Ali Vaez. "A woman can not put up a good war face", he said.

Rouhani however set conditions of peace; "the road to peace is not a one-way route and all countries should have a will to keep peace and security in the region", he said, turning to the matter at hand, Iran's improved defense capabilities.

"He has at least stabilised the economy. and created a better business environment".

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"No one during the history advocated aggression and war; despite this very fact, the history witnessed conflict, bloodshed, tyranny, and confrontation of the righteous and the forces of the darkness", Rouhani told the meeting. "Buying planes is good, but how many Iranians can afford to fly to Paris?"

"The nuclear deal is a legal document and a pact".

His main rival in the May 19 elections is expected to be the conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who aligns with the views of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and is the custodian of Iran's holiest shrine.

The situation, however, was brought into focus by the reports that the Supreme Leader - who had been in his post since 1989, after serving as President - was now terminally ill.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad filed to run in Iran's upcoming presidential election, defying the wishes of the country's supreme leader that he not seek to return to the office. He was runner-up to Rouhani last time, having lost momentum after boasting of beating students with a stick during protests in 1999. He would have to mobilize his supporters over the next two weeks, said Hojjat Kalashi, a sociologist who is critical of the establishment.

In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Hassan Rouhani, left, speaks as he is accompanied by the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi on a visit to the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

The hardline Guardian Council, which vets candidates before they stand, has prevented other influential figures from running in previous elections.

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