Ex-president Ahmadinejad barred from running in Iranian election

Ex-president Ahmadinejad barred from running in Iranian election

PanARMENIAN.Net – Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been barred from standing in next month's election by a government-controlled vetting body, state media report, according to BBC News. Ahmadinejad, a vocal critic of the West, served two terms as president between 2005 and 2013. President Hassan Rouhani and leading hardliner Ebrahim Raisi have both been approved by the Guardian Council. A final list of candidates for the 19 May poll will be announced on 27 April. More than 1,600 candidates sought to stand, but only about six are selected by the Guardian Council, the clerical body which vets candidates. The nominations of Rouhani and Raisi will lead to a showdown between bitterly divided political camps. Rouhani was elected by a landslide in 2013, on a platform of ending the country's diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society. Two years later his government and six other countries reached a landmark deal, in which Iran agreed to curb its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. Raisi is a seyed, meaning he traces his genealogy back to the Prophet Muhammad. He has a reputation for his uncompromising stance on key issues and is rumoured to be supported by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad caused widespread shock when he registered as a candidate last week in defiance of Khamenei's advice. Last year the Supreme Leader warned Ahmadinejad…