Khamenei nixes Ahmadinejad’s presidential hopes

The Iranian supreme leader put the kibosh on the presumed bid of the country’s former hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to reclaim the position, according to the IRNA state news agency.

“He (Ahmadinejad) came to me and I told him not to stand as I think it is not in his interest and that of the country,” Reuters quotes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in front of a portrait of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the 23rd anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, at his mausoleum just outside Tehran, in June. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in front of a portrait of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2012 (AP/Vahid Salemi)

“It will create bipolar opposites and divisions in the country, which I believe is harmful,” he adds.

Although Ahmadinejad, who served from 2005 to 2013, had not announced his intention to run, he has raised his public profile in recent months, fueling speculation with a series of speeches.

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