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Hard-line cleric to run in Iranian presidential election

Rouhani, a politically moderate cleric, has won praise since his landslide win in 2013 for taming inflation and reaching a groundbreaking nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has registered to run for a second four-year term in the country's election in May.

"From today on preserving the nuclear deal will be one of the most important domestic, political and economic issues for the Iranian nation", said Rouhani.

Raisi also registered on Friday for the vote.

Ahmadinejad previously said he wasn't going to run after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised him not to.

When he was head of government from 2005 to 2013, Ahmadinejad repeatedly questioned the Holocaust, called for Israel's destruction and expanded Iran's nuclear program.

Rouhani is also a member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, two influential advisory bodies in Iran's multi-tiered power structure.

The registration for presidential elections officially started on April 11 and will end on April 15.

He said his decision to run was meant to help former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, a close confidant.

Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has filed to run in the May presidential election. At a press conference shortly after registering, Ahmadinejad called Khamenei's comments "just advice", and described his move as helping Baghaei.

Earlier on Friday, President Hassan Rouhani applied for presidential candidacy.

Most of the analysts believe that Rouhani, Raisi and Ahmadinejad will be the three major candidates with political weight and ideological reflection, whose competition can heat up the furnace of election in Iran next month.

Rouhani has arrived at the Interior Ministry where candidates enroll, Trend correspondent reported April 14.

The hopefuls will have 20 days for electoral campaigns, ahead of the election day slated for May 19.

"I have come to be the candidate for the whole of Iran".



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