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Rouhani to run in Iran's election

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Rouhani to run in Iran's election

<p>Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has registered to run for a second four-year term in the country’s election in May.</p> <p>The 68-year-old was elected by a landslide in 2013 on a platform of ending the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society.</p> <p>However, he faces a stiff challenge this time around from conservative hardliners because of discontent over the economy.</p> <p>Some prominent conservatives, including parliament speaker Ali Larijiani, have thrown their support behind Rouhani.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iran?src=hash">#Iran</a>'s President Hassan <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rouhani?src=hash">#Rouhani</a> registered to run for a second 4-year term in the May presidential election. <a href="https://t.co/7UwtYtP9Q6">pic.twitter.com/7UwtYtP9Q6</a></p>— Ali Kheradpir (@AliKheradpir) <a href="https://twitter.com/AliKheradpir/status/852871664576712704">14 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3><strong>What Rouhani says</strong></h3> <p>“Once again, I am here for Iran, for Islam, for freedom and for more stability in this country. I am urging all Iranians to vote for Iran and for Islam,” <strong>the 68-year-old</strong> told reporters.</p> <h3><strong>What is the election process like in Iran?</strong></h3> <p>The five-day registration period for the May 19 election began on Tuesday and will be followed by a process of vetting of the hopefuls by a hardline watchdog body, the Guardian Council.</p> <p>More than 950 people have signed up so far.</p> <p>Several former ministers and former president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad are among those who have registered.</p> <h3><strong>Who are the other candidates?</strong></h3> <p>Influential Shi’ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi appears to be the leading choice so far.</p> <p>He is the custodian of a powerful organisation in charge of Iran’s holiest shrine.</p> <p>However, despite months of talks, hardliners have been unable to unite behind a single candidate.</p> <p>Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appears to not have intervened so far to force them to do so. He has the final say on all state matters.</p> <p>Raisi also registered on Friday for the vote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hassan Rouhani has everything going for him in his re-election bid – except the backing of the Iran's supreme leader <a href="https://t.co/ppUqAwQ9TQ">https://t.co/ppUqAwQ9TQ</a></p>— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) <a href="https://twitter.com/ForeignPolicy/status/852539916076670977">13 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3><strong>What is the mood on the streets?</strong></h3> <p>Many Iranians have grown impatient with the slow rate of improvement in their economic fortunes since sanctions were lifted.</p> <p>Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity under its deal with world powers.</p>