Iran's president resisters to run in May elections

"Our universities and our youth should feel more lively and delighted". "The stepmothers who repeatedly tried to kill this baby can not be good custodians for it".

He also expressed satisfaction with his foreign policy attainments and said as he had pledged during his presidential campaign in 2013, he has taken steps to improve relations with the world and to interact constructively with the western countries.

"The Iranian nation will not stop half way, and will continue down its path. We'll continue down our path until the end", Rouhani said.

"With the deal in jeopardy, the system will be in vital need of Rouhani's team of smiling diplomats and economic technocrats to shift the blame to the US and keep Iran's economy afloat", said Iran analyst Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group.

A lawmaker denounced as "regressive" the move by former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to enter the presidential contest, noting that it would ultimately play out in favor of the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid.

Every president since the early 1980s has won a second term, and Rouhani has done much to maintain his alliance of moderates and reformists - stabilising the economy and signing a landmark nuclear deal with world powers that ended many sanctions and promised a fresh start with the global community.

Raisi in his first remarks after registering praised the country's democracy and the necessity of rule of law during the elections and afterward. Both Mr Raisi and his father-in-law have seats on the Assembly of Experts that will choose the next supreme leader - a position for which Mr Raisi himself is often rumoured to be in the running.

In 2012, he became a prosecutor in the Special Court of Clerics, charged with disciplining the clergy, and spent two years as Iran's nationwide prosecutor-general from 2013 to 2015.

Well-informed sources close to Iranian leadership circles have indicated that Iranian "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, 77, was no longer responding to treatment for the cancer which spread from the prostate cancer which was detected as early as 2008; he may also have other forms of cancer, including one or more forms of leukemia.

The registration process, which opened on April 11, is set to conclude on Saturday.

All the candidates will be vetted by the Guardian Council, a 12-member panel half selected by the supreme leader and half nominated by the judiciary and approved by parliament. The council normally does not approve dissidents or women. But the oil-based economy's struggle to rebound since the lifting of sanctions as part of the nuclear accord could be exploited by Rouhani's hardline foes this time around.

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