Iran's Ahmadinejad says he won't run again for president

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Tuesday he has decided not to run again for president, saying he will instead remain a "little foot soldier of the revolution."

Hardliner Ahmadinejad, 59, was Iranian president for eight years until 2013, a time in which the country became increasingly isolated from the international community.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in the Islamic Republic, had spoken out against Ahmadinejad's potential return to the presidency.

Reports earlier this week said that while Khamenei had not issued a formal ban on the candidacy, he had advised the ex-president in a private meeting not to stand in the election, set for May 19, 2017.

The ISNA news agency reported Tuesday that Ahmadinejad wrote Khamenei a letter to say he would not seek the office.

"I'm not going to compete, and will remain a little foot soldier of the revolution and servant of the people," he wrote.

Ahmadinejad had hinted at his potential comeback several times since the start of the year and has expressed his desire to topple the current incumbent, reformist Hassan Rowhani.

After a drubbing by the reformists in parliamentary elections in February, many hardliners saw Ahmadinejad as the only hope for toppling Rowhani, but Khamenei's intervention extinguished those hopes.

The populist Ahmadinejad could potentially have exploited Rowhani's failure to reap the economic benefits from a groundbreaking nuclear deal with the international community in July 2015.

Last update: Tue, 27/09/2016 - 16:00
Author: 

More from World

Iraq claims early gains in bid to retake Mosul from Islamic State

 Iraqi forces said on Sunday that they had regained territory from Islamic State in the western part of Mosul, hours...

Turkey's Erdogan to bring constitutional reform campaign to Europe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to bring a campaign for constitutional reform to Turks living in...

Truck bomb kills 35 in Somali capital

A suicide truck bomb on Sunday exploded at a market in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing at least 35 people,...

Ecuadorians head to polls to choose new president

Polls opened for Ecuador's general election Sunday as voters prepared to choose a successor to President Rafael...

What happened in Sweden? Country confused by Trump's rally remarks

Swedish commentators and media Sunday reacted with astonishment at weekend remarks by US President Donald Trump...