Al­lies: Ex-Iran pres­i­dent ad­vised not to run again

Baltimore Sun - - WORLD - By Amir Vah­dat

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.

CEN­TER FOR PRE­SERV­ING AND PUB­LISH­ING THE WORKS OF IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER

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.

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