Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 November

Ahmadinejad denied running for presidency


YEREVAN, APRIL 21, ARMENPRESS. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi were both approved to run in May's presidential election by a government vetting body, while former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was disqualified, state media said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The approval of Rouhani, a moderate, and Raisi, a political hardliner thought to have the backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sets up a showdown between rival political camps.

Khamenei had advised Ahmadinejad not to run.

The disqualification of Ahmadinejad, a two-term president, draws attention to the criteria that the Guardian Council, the governmental body which vets candidates, uses in the selection process.

Regardless of how the rivalry between Rouhani and Raisi plays out, top Iranian officials, including Khamenei, have said they will confront any individuals or groups who attempt to destabilize the country.



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