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The registration process has opened in Iran for candidates to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in next month’s presidential election.
Reports say more conservatives than reformists have put themselves forward.
Most candidates are thought to want to defuse tensions with the West and a change from Ahmadinejad’s confrontational style.
Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator and an advisor to former President Rafsanjani, is among the frontrunners.
“By forming a government of prudence and hope, I want to save the economy, re-establish morality in society and have constructive interaction with the world, and present honesty and righteousness to the people,” Rowhani said.
The candidates have five days to declare their intention to stand. Iran’s Guardian Council will then decide whether they can.
President Ahmadinejad is prevented by the constitution from running for a third term.
His controversial re-election four years ago prompted major unrest. The leaders of the reform movement from that time remain under house arrest.