DUBAI, May 11 (Reuters) - An ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the centre of a split in Iran’s leadership registered on Saturday as a candidate in Iran’s June 14 presidential election, the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff, has been accused by conservative hardliners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as leading a “deviant current” that seeks to erode Islamic clerical authority in favour of a more nationalistic doctrine.
Mashaie’s candidacy must still be approved by the conservative body of clerics and jurists known as the Guardian Council. It is expected to issue a final list of approved candidates in 10 days’ time.
Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich