Authorities in Iran are bracing for a record low turnout in this week’s presidential elections and among those boycotting the vote is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The former president told Euronews the country’s guardian council is ignoring the will of a majority of people by not letting him and hundreds of other candidates take part in the race.
Ahmadinejad also spoke about Iranians’ general discontent over politics and said the country desperately needed reforms.
A recent poll showed only 36% of eligible voters plan to cast their ballots in Friday's vote. After years of struggle brought on by international isolation, Iranians seem more concerned about high prices and unemployment.
When asked why he wanted to have a second go at the top job, Ahmadinejad said he felt “responsible for protecting people’s interests and changing the (electoral) mechanism that pushes the will of a majority of the people aside”.
This is a pivotal moment for the nation of 83 million people – set to determine the direction the country will take and its future place on the international stage.
Ahmadinejad doesn’t dismiss the importance of current negotiations to revive the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West but says the outgoing administration of moderate leader Hassan Rouhani won’t be able to deliver a conclusion to the talks.
He also said he would like to see the EU “step out from the shadow of the US” and for the new US president to deliver where others have failed and change US policy towards his country: “I remember when Mr Obama was a candidate, he promised several times to change policy. And countries welcomed that idea with open arms. But unfortunately, he didn’t fulfil his promise. He missed the opportunity. I hope in Mr Biden uses his chance."
The full interview with Ahmadinejad will be available on all Euronews' platforms on Tuesday evening.