Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani has conclusively put an end to talk of whether he will seek re-election. In the past months, rumors were circulating in political circles and social networks about Rouhani’s unwillingness to run in the May 19 presidential elections. This rumored unwillingness wasn’t due to his reluctance to seek a second term, but rather over rising pressure from hard-liners and related reports of his possible disqualification by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council, which is tasked with vetting candidates.
On March 6, news surfaced that Rouhani formed his campaign headquarters. Reports say the campaign will be headed by prominent Reformist figure Mohammad Ali Najafi and moderate Mohammad Shariatmadari.