Iran starts get-out-the-vote drive

April 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

TEHRAN, April 22 (UPI) -- Iranian voters have an opportunity to make a statement to the country's enemies by turning out for June elections, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

Iran is to have presidential elections June 14.

Ahmadinejad called on to voters to turn out in high numbers for the election.

"An election with the participation of close to 50 million (people) should be held so that the back of the enemies be broken," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

Ahmadinejad, a two-term incumbent, is ineligible to run because of term limits.

Some of the contenders for this year have started spelling out platforms before the formal registration period. Former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said "stability and prosperity" may come from expanded ties between Iran and members of the international community.

Velayati is a senior political adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Saeed Jalili, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator, is considering a presidential bid. He said he'd run as an independent.

Other potential candidates include: Former Iranian Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedikia, Second Vice Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar, head of Iran's General Inspectorate Organization Mostafa Pourmohammadi and former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

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