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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to seek second term

IANS | Tehran |

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Friday registered to run for a second four-year term in the upcoming presidential election in the country.

At the Interior Ministry's headquarters in Tehran, Rouhani said he had fulfilled the promises he made to the Iranian people during the election campaign four years ago, EFE news cited statements published by official media outlets.

In a new attempt to convince undecided voters and citizens disappointed with his policies, the Iranian President stressed that his government's economic performance was better than his predecessors' in recent years.

He also alluded to the nuclear agreement signed in July 2015 between Iran and six major powers, whose protection, in his view, is one of "the most important economic and political issues" facing the nation.

"Those who made incessant efforts on the nuclear pact should tread the path up to the end," he said in remarks to the press after registering as a candidate.

Rouhani said maintaining national security was one of his government's most important goals and stressed that "the ominous shadow of the war (over the country) has disappeared".

Rouhani, who won the 2013 presidential elections in the first round with 50.8 per cent of the vote, is the candidate of the reformist bloc, although he defines himself as moderate.

His main rival in the May 19 elections is expected to be the conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who aligns with the views of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and is the custodian of Iran's holiest shrine.

Another potentially strong candidate for the presidency is former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The registration process, which opened on April 11, is set to conclude on Saturday.

The country's Guardian Council — the highest political body in the country, which is overseen by Khamenei — then has 10 days to approve the candidates.