The Latest: Iran's Ahmadinejad defends decision to run

The Latest on Iran's upcoming presidential election after former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defied the advice of the supreme leader and registered to run (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has described comments by the supreme leader suggesting he not run in May's presidential election as "just advice."

Ahmadinejad made the comments at a Wednesday news conference after stunning election officials by registering.

Ahmadinejad described his registering for the election as helping his former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, a close confidant. Baghaei registered alongside Ahmadinejad on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad previously said he wasn't going to run after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised him not to. But many hard-liners in Iran seek a tough-talking candidate to rally around who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who negotiated the nuclear deal with world powers, is expected to run for re-election.



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