Ahmadinejad writes to Leader, says doesn't contest presidential election 

September 27, 2016

TEHRAN - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was Iran’s president from 2005 to 2013, has penned a letter to the Supreme Leader saying he will not run for the next year’s presidential election. 

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the media consultant to Ahmadinejad all through the two presidential terms, let slip the news on Tuesday, one day after the Leader implicitly confirmed he had advised the former president to stay out of the next year’s presidential election.

“Dr. Ahmadinejad announced in a letter to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic revolution that he has no plan to participate in the next year’s presidential election,” said Javanfekr. 

Shortly after Javanfekr’s remarks, a copy of the letter went viral among Iranian news outlets. 

“I should inform that in compliance with the Supreme Leader’s remarks, I have no plan to take part in in the next year’s presidential election,” read part of the letter. 

Ahmadinejad’s tenure was peppered with controversial events and subjective law enforcements, causing distress both nationally and internationally.   

During the period, the Iranian economy was grounded by unprecedented inflation rates, 40 percent by one account, considering deteriorating relations with the outside world. 

The Ahmadinejad administration, inter alia, cut a state subsidy system not exactly the same way stipulated by law whose negative consequences are still with millions of the people. 

In addition to a domestic populist policy, he pursued an imbalanced foreign policy, as well, particularly with European countries who were hostile to Iran’s nuclear program. 

The decision by the Supreme Leader has been motivated, as he noted in his comments, by concerns that a polarized society will ensue if Ahmadinejad contests the next year’s presidential election. 

Ahmadinejad’s record comes as a good justification for the concerns.

“Mr. Ahmadinejad did his outmost in the past to polarize the society and caused numerous unnecessary tensions,” said Kazem Jalali, a senior parliamentary figure.

“I hope Mr. Ahmadinejad takes the Leader’s advice seriously.”

Following the Leader’s comments, the Tasnim news agency issued an article saying, “It is certain that Ahmadinejad’s record and approach will generate an atmosphere one of whose primary yet main consequences is widespread unconstructive arguments and debates among the revolution’s sympathizers and event among the public.”     

AK/PA

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