Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared on Tuesday that he has decided not to take part in the next year presidential race in the country.
In a letter sent to the Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad noted his meeting with Ayatollah Imam Ali Khamenei on August 30, and said after he discussed his recent countrywide trips and public meetings, “you advised me that my participation in this round of elections won’t be expedient and I stated my compliance” with this recommendation.
“In compliance with the gracious leader of the revolution, (I declare that) I have no plan to run in the next year’s election,” he added.
The letter came after the Iranian Leader stated on Monday that he had “advised” a potential candidate not to take part in the election next year, but meantime reiterated that he “has not issued a ban or order” in this regard.
“I didn’t tell him not to run, I said it’s not in your own or the country’s best interests to run,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Ayatollah Khamenei did not mention any specific name, but he implied Ahmadinejad as there were rumors all throughout the last week that he had had a meeting with the former president over his plans for the next year presidential election and advised him not to nominate.
Iran will hold its next presidential election in May 2017, a vote in which President Hassan Rouhani may seek a second term.
The Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists that oversees elections, said in a letter to the interior ministry in July that it had agreed on a date of May 19 proposed by the ministry.