Iran: Former president Rafsanjani may run in elections
Iran's powerful former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday he will almost certainly run for president in June elections — making him the leading contender in a race that "hard-liners" are hoping will cement their hold.
With the reformist movement severely weakened, Rafsanjani is seen as the most credible force to stop "hard-line" allies of Iran's supreme leader from seizing the post of president.
The election will replace outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, who is barred by law from seeking a third term.
"The issue of presidency is among my current preoccupations and although I would like someone else to take up this responsibility, I think I have to take this bitter medicine," his office quoted him as saying, according to IRNA news agency.
"I think I have to take this bitter medicine since what I didn't like to happen is apparently occurring," Rafsanjani said in response to a request made by a group of researchers and producers of the agriculture sector, calling on him to stand again.