Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered on Wednesday as a candidate in next month’s presidential election, despite a promise to the country’s Supreme Leader Ayat. Ali Khamenei that he would stand down.
Ahmadinejad said he registered to support his former vice president in the May 19 vote and maintained his “moral promise” to Khamenei not to run.
Hamid Baghaei announced his candidacy in February and said he would run as an independent.
Baghaei, the former vice president for executive affairs and tourism, was arrested and held in solitary confinement for seven months in 2015. The reasons for his detention were never made public.
Ahmadinejad served two terms as president beginning in 2005. His 2009 re-election sparked fraud accusations and protests across Iran.
In September, Ahmadinejad announced he would not run for a third term on Khamenei’s advice.
“A certain person came to me and I told him not to do a certain thing, believing it would be to the benefit of both the person himself and the country,” Khamenei had said.
Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Khamenei’s statement was not a ban, AFP reported.