Queue grows for Iranian president

TEHRAN, March 18 (UPI) -- Former Iranian Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedikia said Monday he was competing for the presidency.

Iran is to have presidential elections June 14. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ineligible to run because of term limits.


Saeedikia told the semiofficial Fars News Agency that he'd run under the banner of "tranquility, national solidarity and global cooperation."

Ahmadinejad dissolved the Housing Ministry in 2010. Saeedikia serves as transportation minister under former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Second Vice Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar and head of Iran's General Inspectorate Organization Mostafa Pourmohammadi threw their hats into the ring last weekend. Pourmohammadi was intelligence minister under Rafsanjani.

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki last month became one of the early candidates for president. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tried to block Ahmadinejad from dismissing Mottaki in early 2011.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said his agency was "conducting heavy monitoring" for potential disruptions ahead of the June elections.

Elections in 2009 were marred by violence not seen since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.


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