Former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has reiterated that he is not supporting any of the six presidential candidates.
“Whoever wins the election, it will not make any difference for Iran’s future,” he said, speaking in a video published on his Telegram channel on May 11. “I have been under heavy pressure from my supporters to decisively retaliate against those candidates who have claimed that they enjoy my blessings. Name them, my supporters have demanded.”
There’s no need to name them, Ahmadinejad said, adding, “For informing all the people of Iran, suffice to say that we’re not supporting anybody in the current election.”
Furthermore, in a shocking comment by a former Iranian president, he emphasized that the outcome of the election will have no impact on Iran’s future.
During their debates and campaign speeches, the main Principlist, or conservative, candidates Ebrahim Raeisi and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf have supported a number of Ahmadinejad’s government plans, including the distribution of subsidies, or cash handouts, among the public.
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad’s transportation and housing minister from 2011 to 2013, Ali Nikzad, is currently the head of Raeisi’s presidential campaign headquarters.
Four other prominent ministers from Ahmadinejad’s cabinets are members of the same headquarters, as well.
Earlier, along with publishing a series of photos related to Raeisi’s campaign, a number of websites close to Ahmadinejad accused Raeisi’s campaign of distributing posters depicting Ahmadinejad’s support for the Principlist candidate.
In a stunning move, on April 12, the former two-term president also threw his hat into the ring for the presidency again. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously advised him to stay out of the race, saying his candidacy would be against the country’s interests.
When asked about Khameni’s comment, Ahmadinejad dismissed it at the time as “advice” and not an “edict.”
Many conservatives and Principlists angrily criticized and attacked Ahmadinejad for ignoring the Supreme Leader’s order.
Soon, the criticism paid off. Ahmadinejad was disqualified by the Guardian Council vetting body, as was his close aide and ally Hamid Bagha’i.
In his May 11 speech, Ahmadinejad, derisively said: “I’m not going to discuss elections and qualifications, for I am not qualified to do so. Nevertheless, when it comes to demanding the nation’s rights, justice, and the ideals of the revolution, our voice is 100 times louder than anyone can imagine.”
Furthermore, quite explicitly, the outspoken former president accused the United States of interfering in Iran’s election.
“The Americans said they have organized their men and provided them a field to maneuver. There are people who work for our [Americans’] interests without their own knowledge; we are going to completely wipe out Iran as a nation, the Americans say.”
“I say: the Iranian nation is going to finish off everybody else,” he concluded.
U.S. officials have made no comment concerning the current presidential election. Ahmadinejad did not provide any evidence or detail.
Iran’s presidential election is set for May 19. According to the head of the Interior Ministry’s State Elections Committee, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, a total of 56,410,234 Iranians can cast their votes in more than 65,000 polling stations across the country.
“All Iranians born before or on May 19, 1999, can vote in the upcoming polls; 1.35 million of those eligible will be first-time voters who have turned 18,” Ahmadi said.