Iran ex-leader Rafsanjani to stand again

2013-05-11 20:26
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (Picture: AFP)

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (Picture: AFP)

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Tehran - Iran's moderate conservative former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Saturday registered his candidacy to stand for the office again in the election on 14 June, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Rafsanjani, who will be 79 in August, filed his papers at the interior ministry during the final minutes of the five-day registration process which wrapped up on Saturday.

"I came to serve. It is the right of the people to choose me or not," Iranian media quoted him as saying.

Rafsanjani has been isolated since the 2009 presidential election, which saw massive street protests against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He then called for the release of people rounded up during the demonstrations.

Rafsanjani, president between 1989 and 1997, currently chairs the Expediency Council, the highest political arbitration body, whose members are appointed by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


Also on Saturday, Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and close figure to all-powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, unexpectedly showed up at the ministry and registered his candidacy.

A veteran of the 1980s war with Iraq in which he lost his lower right leg, Jalili, 47, did not speak to reporters, an AFP correspondent said.

Jalili heads the team in negotiations with world powers over Tehran's controversial atomic activities which the West fears are aimed at developing a military capacity, a claim denied by Iran.

According to the interior ministry, more than 450 people have registered, including 14 women. Approved candidates will have three weeks to campaign before polling day on 14 June.

Read more on:    akbar hashemi rafsanjani  |  iran

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