Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says he will not seek reelection in the country's 2017 presidential vote, one day after media reported that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had told him not to run.
cartoon by Bozorgmehr Hosseinpur
Ahmadinejad made the announcement in a letter to Khamenei that was published by Iranian media on September 27.
In the letter, he confirms that Khamenei had told him it was not in the country's interest for him to seek the presidency again. Ahmadinejad wrote that he expressed his fealty to the supreme leader.
Iran's state IRNA news agency reported on September 26 that Khamenei had told an unnamed candidate it "is not in his interest or that of the country" for him to seek presidency.
Read Ayatollah Khamenei's public statement on his advice to Ahmadinejad
The staunchly conservative Ahmadinejad was first elected in 2005 and was reelected in a disputed election in 2009.
He has made several high-profile speeches in recent months, sparking speculation that he might seek the presidency again.
Khamenei has the last word on all state matters in the Islamic republic.
Another possible rival to incumbent President Hassan Rohani -- Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani -- said earlier this month that he would not participate in the election.
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