Photo Credit: Rachael Cerrotti/Flash90
An effigy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Rally to Restore Sanity, Washington, DC, Oct 30, 2010.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who served as the sixth president of Iran from 2005 to 2013, on Sunday registered as a candidate in the Islamic Republic’s June 28 presidential election, Mehr News reported.

During his presidency, Ahmadinejad was criticized at home for failing to open up Iran’s economy, and abroad for his disregard for human rights, hostility toward Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US, and many other Western and Arab countries, and his support for Iran’s nuclear program. His election to a second term in 2009 was widely disputed and was followed by widespread protests that were repressed brutally.


On April 12, 2017, Ahmadinejad announced he was running for a third term in the 2017 presidential election, despite the objections of Supreme Leader Khamenei. His nomination was rejected by the Guardian Council. He made another attempt to register to run in the 2021 presidential election and was rejected again by the Guardian Council.

On August 19, 2023, following a prisoner swap between Iran and the United States, the Treasury Department sanctioned Ahmadinejad under Executive Order 14078 for his involvement in detaining several US citizens. According to the Treasury Department, Ahmadinejad had provided material support to the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and during his presidency was involved with the detention of Robert Levinson and three US hikers.

As president, Ahmadinejad repeatedly made contentious speeches and statements against Israel. He refused to call Israel by name, calling it the “Zionist regime” instead. He called for the “elimination of the Zionist regime.” He took part in a protest called “The World Without Zionism.” He urged regional powers to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Israel and halt oil sales. He also provided funding, training, and arms to Hezbollah and Hamas.

Let’s see if the Supreme Leader in his wisdom will let him run this time, because, frankly, we’re all starved for entertainment.

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