Mohsen Rezaie, the former IRGC commander, today declared his candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections. Rezaie is currently the Executive Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council.
Rezaie ran for president four years ago but withdrew his candidacy days before the elections. His withdrawal helped the candidacy of his fellow hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His candidacy this time is seen as a direct challenge to Ahmadinejad as the leading “principlist” candidate for president.
Ahmadinejad is also being challenged by a centrist candidate and former premier, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and a reformist candidate, Mehdi Karubi, a cleric and former speaker of Majlis.
Rezaie, who commanded the IRGC from 1981 to 1997, including his command during the 8-year war with Iraq, last week proposed the formation of a national unity government to include the principlist as well as reformist cabinet members to tackle the growing economic, political and foreign relations challenges facing the new president.
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