Allies: Ex-Iran president advised not to run again
TEHRAN, Iran — Close allies of Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose presidency was marked by confrontation with the West, said Monday that the country’s supreme leader recommended he not run in May’s presidential election because he is a polarizing figure among hard-liners.
Mohammad Reza Mirtajeddini, Ahmadinejad’s vice president from 2009 to 2013, and Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam, a former parliamentarian and influential cleric, confirmed the news to the website Khabar Online.
Moghadam said that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s advice amounted to a “serious state objection” to Ahmadinejad’s potential candidacy and that the former president would follow his advice. “If he doesn’t follow the state objection, he will ... lose many of his supporters,” Moghadam added.
During a meeting with clerics Monday, Khamenei said he recommended that a potential candidate not run, without naming him.
Khamenei warned it would lead to a “polarized
Canadian-Iranian woman released
TEHRAN, Iran — A Canadian-Iranian retired professor was released from prison on “humanitarian grounds” and flown out of Iran on Monday, Iran’s state-run news agency said, ending her months of detention alongside other dual nationals swept up by hard-liners in the security services.
Homa Hoodfar was flown to the Arab Gulf nation of Oman, the brief report from IRNA said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed her release, thanking Italy, Switzerland and Oman for their help in the matter.
Hoodfar, 65, was questioned and barred from leaving Iran in March after traveling to the country to visit family after her husband died. situation” that would be “harmful for the county.”
The supreme leader has the final say on all state matters in Iran. All candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council, a clerical body in which Khamenei appoints half the members.
Ahmadinejad has not announced plans to run for re-election but has made several speeches in recent months, prompting speculation.
While he previously served two four-year terms, Iranian law calls only for a one-term cooling-off period before he’s eligible to run again.
In August, the former president wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to “quickly fix” a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed families of people killed in attacks linked to Iran to collect damages f rom some $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets.
During his eight-year presidency, Ahmadinejad repeatedly questioned the scale of the Nazi Holocaust and predicted the demise of Israel.
He also greatly expanded Iran’s controversial nuclear program, prompting tighter international sanctions, which were lifted under last year’s nuclear deal.
His disputed 2009 reelection saw widespread protests and violence. Two of his former vice presidents have since been jailed for corruption.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shown addressing Muslim clerics, said on Monday he recommended a potential presidential hopeful not run, without naming him.