TEHRAN: An adviser to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's former hard-line president, says the politician won't seek re-election in next year's presidential vote after apparently being discouraged by the country's supreme leader.
Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Ali Akbar Javanfekr on Tuesday as saying Ahmadinejad sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei saying he wouldn't seek the presidency again.
In comments reported Monday, Khamenei was quoted as saying he recommended an unnamed candidate not seek office as it would spark a "polarized situation" that would be "harmful for the county."
Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms. Iranian law calls only for a one-term cooling-off period.
During his presidency, Ahmadinejad repeatedly questioned the scale of the Nazi Holocaust and predicted the demise of Israel. He also greatly expanded Iran's contested nuclear program.