DUBAI - Veteran Iranian politician Mohsen Rezaie, who lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a disputed 2009 presidential poll that sparked protests, became the first person to declare his candidacy for next year, Iran's ILNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Rezaie initially filed formal complaints over the official results of the 2009 vote, but later withdrew them. At the time, he criticized the authorities for their handling of the election and the demonstrations that followed it, saying that the Islamic Republic could face collapse unless it embraced change."My participation in the upcoming presidential election of the Republic is certain. I'm in it to win it," Rezaie, a former commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, was quoted by ILNA as saying at a meeting in the capital Tehran.
Rezaie, who finished third in the 2009 vote, is also the secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, a powerful body which advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.