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Iranian cleric Ebrahim Raisi waves to the media as he registers for the May 19 presidential vote, Tehran, Iran, April 14, 2017 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

Ahmadinejad’s Return Is Not the Real Story of Iran’s Presidential Election

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Officials at Iran’s Ministry of the Interior were expecting a relatively normal day last Wednesday, when they started registering candidates for next month’s presidential election. But former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a surprise in store for them.

Ahmadinejad, who left office in 2013, had been very publicly warned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei not to run for another term. So when he accompanied his former vice president, Hamid Baghaei, to the ministry, no one thought much of it. But after Baghaei completed his registration for the election, Ahmadinejad put on quite a show for the media. He suddenly pulled out his own papers and registered as a candidate as well. Witnesses said the ministry officials looked nothing short of stunned. ...

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