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.

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'