Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has registered to run for a second four-year term in the country’s election in May.
The 68-year-old was elected by a landslide in 2013 on a platform of ending the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic isolation and creating a freer society.
However, he faces a stiff challenge this time around from conservative hardliners because of discontent over the economy.
Some prominent conservatives, including parliament speaker Ali Larijiani, have thrown their support behind Rouhani.
#Iran’s President Hassan #Rouhani registered to run for a second 4-year term in the May presidential election. pic.twitter.com/7UwtYtP9Q6— Ali Kheradpir (@AliKheradpir) 14 avril 2017
What Rouhani says
“Once again, I am here for Iran, for Islam, for freedom and for more stability in this country. I am urging all Iranians to vote for Iran and for Islam,” the 68-year-old told reporters.
What is the election process like in Iran?
The five-day registration period for the May 19 election began on Tuesday and will be followed by a process of vetting of the hopefuls by a hardline watchdog body, the Guardian Council.
More than 950 people have signed up so far.
Several former ministers and former president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad are among those who have registered.
Who are the other candidates?
Influential Shi’ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi appears to be the leading choice so far.
He is the custodian of a powerful organisation in charge of Iran’s holiest shrine.
However, despite months of talks, hardliners have been unable to unite behind a single candidate.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appears to not have intervened so far to force them to do so. He has the final say on all state matters.
Raisi also registered on Friday for the vote.
Hassan Rouhani has everything going for him in his re-election bid – except the backing of the Iran’s supreme leader https://t.co/ppUqAwQ9TQ— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) 13 avril 2017
What is the mood on the streets?
Many Iranians have grown impatient with the slow rate of improvement in their economic fortunes since sanctions were lifted.
Iran curbed its disputed nuclear activity under its deal with world powers.