Addressing the speculations surrounding his political future, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday he has no interest in running for president in 2021 but is ready to “make sacrifices.”
Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Iran in the summer of 2021.
“There is a long time left until the elections … I have not thought about it, and personally I have no desire, but like all Iranians, I am ready to make sacrifices for Iran,” said Ahmadinejad, when asked if he will run for president in 2021.
Ahmadinejad was president of Iran from 2005 to 2013 and served as mayor of Tehran between 2003 and 2005.
In 2017, Ahmadinejad announced he would run in the Iranian presidential elections, but his nomination was rejected by the Guardian Council, the body that vets all nominations.
The Guardian Council will need to approve his nomination again this time if Ahmadinejad is to run.
Some in Iran speculate that Ahmadinejad plans on running for president but will not do so until he receives reassurance that the Guardian Council will not disqualify him again.
It is unlikely the Guardian Council, which is made up of clerics and jurists who are close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will approve Ahmadinejad’s candidacy without receiving the green light from Khamenei.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, sided with Ahmadinejad in the disputed presidential elections in 2009, but the two later clashed in Ahmadinejad’s final years as president.