Iran’s former IRGC chief joins presidential race

April 23rd, 2009 - 3:37 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, April 23 (Xinhua) The former chief of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has announced to run in the upcoming presidential elections, IRNA reported Wednesday.
Mohsen Rezaei, who is the current secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, will contest the June 12 election as an independent candidate, according to the report.

Rezaei, who served as the chief of IRGC from 1981-1997, had also filed nominations to contest in the last presidential election in 2005, but withdrew just two days before the election.

“It has been decided that he (Rezaei) steps into the presidential campaign as an independent and popular candidate,” a group of Iranian politicians who have set up a party called the Coalition Government said in a statement, Fars news agency reported.

In early March, the former IGRC commander had proposed for the formation of a coalition front, which garnered mixed reviews in recent weeks.

According to him, a person cannot single-handedly lead the country and it is necessary to take help of politicians beyond the party lines to usher in more consensus-based politics in the country.

So far, former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and ex-parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi have announced to run for the elections.

Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet made an official announcement whether he will run for the post.

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