News 21 april — 15:37

Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad Barred From Election

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Iranian state TV says the body charged with vetting candidates has disqualified former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from running in next month's presidential election, RFE/RL reports.

Although Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run, Ahmadinejad shocked the country by registering last week.

Ahmadinejad was president from 2005 to 2013, and was best known abroad for his incendiary rhetoric toward Israel, his questioning of the scale of the Holocaust, and his efforts to ramp up Iran's nuclear program.

Khamenei has said Ahmadinejad candidacy would create a "polarized situation" that would be "harmful for the county."

State television said that incumbent Hassan Rohani and hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi have both been approved to run in the election.

Raisi, 56, who is close to Khamenei, is considered by many to be the 68-year-old Rohani’s main challenger.

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