First Published: 2013-05-11

 

Ahmadinejad’s brother replaces his close ally in Iran presidential race

 

Some observers believe Ahmadinejad has probably dragged his brother into electoral marathon to avoid nomination of his close ally Rahim Mashaei.

 

Middle East Online

‘My sole objective is to serve Iranian people’

TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looks determined to maintain his family’s influence in Iran as conservatives accuse him of trying to undermine the mullahs’ regime.

According to Mehr news agency, the elder brother of the Iranian President came to the Interior Ministry Saturday morning to register his name as a candidate in the June presidential election.

Shortly after filing his candidacy, Ahmadinejad’s brother said that he would run "as an independent” and that his sole objective consists in serving the Iranian people.

Some observers believe that Ahmadinejad has probably resorted to drag his brother into the electoral marathon to avoid the nomination of his close ally and assistant Rahim Mashaei, who has not announced his participation in the election yet.

Conservatives are suspicious of Mashaei and consider him as a leader of a "deviant current" which seeks to undermine the influence of the religious leadership in favour of secular nationalism.

Ahmadinejad is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.

His successor is expected to face an array of challenges, including Iran's worsening economy targeted by international sanctions over its uranium enrichment activities.

On Saturday, Iran's moderate former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, veteran diplomat Ali Akbar Velayati, Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili also registered to stand in the election, the first since 2009 which saw massive street protests erupting after Ahmadinejad's re-election.

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

Jalili, 47, joins several conservative hopefuls aiming to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran is expected to wrap up the five-day registration of candidates on Saturday, leaving the fate of the hopefuls in the hands of the Guardians Council, an unelected body controlled by religious conservatives appointed by Khamenei.

The council will vet the candidates to ensure they adhere to constitutional conditions of being faithful to the principles of the Islamic republic and its official religion, before announcing the final list of hopefuls no later than May 23.

Approved candidates will then have three weeks to campaign before polling day on June 14.

 

Campaigning opens for Tunisia presidential election

Peshmerga forces take up arms against ‘Islamic State’ from Kobane

Huthi-Brotherhood conflict cements deep divisions in Yemen

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’