Former FM Mottaki joins Iran's presidential race

By REUTERS
February 27, 2013 11:34

 
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DUBAI - Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has announced he will run for president in an election in June likely to be dominated by seething conservative rivalries.

The presidential poll is a crucial test for Iran after the last one in 2009 ignited mass street protests in Tehran and other cities after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election.

As Iran remains locked in a stand-off with world powers over its nuclear program, rifts between Ahmadinejad and rivals loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threaten to tarnish the legitimacy of the state's theocratic ruling system.

"I will propose a plan in line with Supreme Leader's beliefs and the people's demands so that in a government with the name of the Islamic Republic, the president would be more than a sympathizer for the people and give something more than a future promise," Mottaki said on his website on Tuesday in a message to Iranians announcing his candidacy.

In a sign that Mottaki may not agree with the Supreme Leader on everything, a note on his website last month criticized "crude" suggestions set out by Iran's nuclear negotiators.

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