Iranian President Rouhani Announces Bid for Re-Election, Faces Hardline Opposition
JNS.org – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani registered Friday to run for a second four-year term in the Islamic Republic’s May 19 election.
“Once again, I am here for Iran, for Islam, for freedom and for more stability in this country,” Rouhani told reporters.
Though he won the presidency in a landslide in 2013 and forged Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, Rouhani faces a stiff challenge from other candidates, including hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, a judge and cleric who is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Many Iranians have become dismayed with Rouhani, who had promised to end Iran’s isolation and create a freer society, as the country’s economy fails to grow despite the lifting of economic sanctions in the aftermath of the nuclear deal.
Rouhani may also face a challenge from outspoken former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who announced earlier this week that he has filed to run again for the office, despite calls by Khamenei not to do so.