First Published: 2013-05-11

 

Ahmadinejadís 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

ĎMy sole objective is to serve Iranian peopleí

TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looks determined to maintain his familyís influence in Iran as conservatives accuse him of trying to undermine the mullahsí 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, Ahmadinejadís brother said that he would run "as an independentĒ 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 Iranís 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.

 

Turkey reinforces ground forces across border into Syria

Tunisia unity government to remain unchanged

Raped teen who took own life finally gets justice in Morocco

Muslim women say swimsuit uproar is 'absurd'

Iraq forces take key town south of Mosul

Hamas to leave name off ballot in Palestinian elections

Kerry in Saudi for talks on regional conflicts

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer

UN Syria envoy says expects 'impact' from Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Three wounded in PKK attack on Turkey opposition chief's convoy

Erdogan to inaugurate Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge

China to train Syrian troops

Turkey says 'every right' to intervene if Kurds fail to withdraw

UN rights chief urges international probe of Yemen violations

Syria rebels backed by Turkey tanks 'seize' Jarabulus

Libya's presidential council to present new cabinet

Syria regime, Kurds blast Turkish incursion

Biden: Washington told Kurds not to cross Euphrates

Israeli court shuns plea to unchain Palestinian hunger striker

Saudi police foil mosque suicide bombing

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Kurdish forces in Syria prime target for Turkey

Drone strike kills 2 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Iran yet to decide on OPEC limits

Iraq forces advance south of Mosul

Gaza animals leave 'world's worst' zoo

Hasakeh: key flashpoint for Syria regime, Kurds

Kerry heads to Saudi on Yemen peace push

British woman killed in Australian stabbing

Hajj stoning to be shortened after deadly stampede

Turkey launches operation to clear Syria border town from IS

Israel raids West Bank arms factories

Morocco posts fall in foreign tourist arrivals

Turkey cuts interest rates defying inflation jump

Syria regime, Kurds agree Hasakeh truce

Iran says it requested Russian strikes on Aleppo

Turkey shells IS positions in Syria

UN braces for massive flight from Mosul

Sudanese migrant killed in Calais clashes

Palestinian suspect in police killings beaten to death

Iraq forces launch push to retake town south of Mosul

UN aid chief warns of 'unparalleled' catastrophe in Aleppo

Prominent Morocco Islamists rapped over 'sex on beach'

Libya parliament rejects Sarrajís unity government