Rouhani to run in Iran's election

Rouhani however set conditions of peace; "the road to peace is not a one-way route and all countries should have a will to keep peace and security in the region", he said, turning to the matter at hand, Iran's improved defense capabilities.

The president's constitutional powers are limited.

In 2016, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Raisi as head of the Imam Reza charity foundation, which owns a massive business conglomerate and endowments in Iran.

Besides, the nuclear agreement with powers in July 2015 was instrumental to alleviate the risk of war against Iran, he said.

Tehran has always assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to the regional countries, saying that the Islamic Republic's defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

For the time being, constant and green-friendly development, creating jobs and fighting social problems, say, poverty and addiction are among major concerns of his administration and he is determined to pace in this direction, Rouhani said.

Rouhani is also a member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, two influential advisory bodies in Iran's multi-tiered power structure.

But, crucially, Rouhani retains the unified support of moderates and reformists, who still see him as the best hope for change within the strict parameters of Iran's Islamic system.

The conservatives remain divided, but Raisi appears to have the most momentum.

The hardline Guardian Council, which vets candidates before they stand, has prevented other influential figures from running in previous elections.

He speculated that the missile strike was instead orchestrated behind closed doors and depended little on the man in the Oval Office.

As successor to the mild-mannered reformist Mohammad Khatami, he toed a strident line on Israel and the US, refusing to meaningfully negotiate with the West over Iran's nuclear programme despite crippling economic sanctions. Hard-line cleric and judge Ebrahim Raisi, a favorite of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who allegedly was involved in the 1988 mass execution of thousands of prisoners, signed up as well.

Trump has criticised the nuclear deal and pledged during his election campaign to stop Iran's missile programme.

Ardavan Amir-Aslani, a French-Iranian lawyer who advises European companies setting up in Iran, said he would be surprised if Rouhani does not win re-election despite the economic malaise.

"Rouhani is still very popular and he is in a very strong position".

Mr Ebrahim Raisi, the leading candidate for Iran's hardliners in next month's presidential election, has left many wondering whether the country's fragile opening to the West could be under threat.

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