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Rouhani Enters Iran Election Race Focused on His Economic Record

  • Cleric Raisi, ex-President Ahmadinejad are serious opponents
  • Iran’s Guardian Council to review all candidates for post
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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will seek a second term, ending weeks of speculation by joining an election field with hardline stalwarts including his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and leading cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who’s seen as his most credible challenger.

Rouhani, the 68-year-old moderate cleric who prioritized engagement with the West and was the architect of Iran’s 2015 landmark nuclear deal, registered for the May 19 poll at the interior ministry on Friday. Raisi, a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, followed within hours. All candidates are subject to a vetting process by the powerful Guardian Council, and those who qualify are to be announced by April 27.