He’s Back: Ahmadinejad Launches Political Campaign
Iran’s former president launches a political campaign in hopes of returning to power in February’s parliamentary elections.
Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched a political campaign in hopes of returning to power in February’s parliamentary elections, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday.
The report noted that while many former allies have turned on Ahmadinejad, and two of his former vice presidents have been jailed for corruption, he is believed to command strong support in the countryside, and could be seen by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a counterbalance to reformers who have tried to reverse Ahmadinejad’s confrontational legacy since the election of President Hassan Rouhani.
At a gathering of his supporters Thursday, Ahmadinejad broke two years of silence, vowing to “redefine revolutionary ideals” laid out by the leader of Iran’s 1979 revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, according to AP.
“God willing, victory and a very bright future awaits us. However, there will be bumps and satanic obstacles in our path,” he was quoted as having told some 400 supporters in Tehran. “One should not forget that the U.S. is our enemy.”
Ahmadinejad remains popular among the rural poor because of his government’s decision to provide monthly cash handouts after cutting food and energy subsidies, and because of his condemnation of capitalism and injustice.
During his presidency he received thousands of letters a day from ordinary Iranians, and earlier this week people lined up outside his Tehran residence to ask for assistance, a reflection of his populist touch, noted AP.
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