Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has once again thrust himself into the political limelight, registering his candidacy for the June 28 presidential election.

The notorious dictator, whose tenure was marred by human rights abuses, oppressive policies, and a blatant disregard for personal freedoms, has been largely ostracized by the regime’s ruling elite for nearly a decade. However, Ahmadinejad’s sudden reemergence has raised suspicions about his true motives and the potential impact on an already sham election process.

As he arrived at the Interior Ministry on Sunday to submit his credentials, Ahmadinejad had the audacity to claim that he had come to “greet the people of Iran once again,” according to Iran International.

“The challenges we face today in all spheres are far greater than those of 2013,” Ahmadinejad said. “My top priority will be to address the economic problems of the people.”

Iran’s economy, ravaged by the oppressive regime’s mismanagement and corruption has been in freefall ever since the failure of the JCPOA nuclear deal in 2018. Exasperated by soaring food prices, social unrest, and a rapidly devaluing rial, it’s doubtful Iran’s millennial generation would be happy to see their abuser back on the seat of power.

Ahmadinejad’s past track record and the opaque vetting process of Iran’s Guardian Council, a body notorious for its loyalty to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and its role in suppressing dissent, cast serious doubt on his ability to even make it onto the ballot. The council has previously barred Ahmadinejad from running in the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections, presumably over a fallout with the Supreme Leader.

Ahmadinejad’s candidacy, if approved, would be a slap in the face to the millions of Iranians who yearn to be free from the shackles of their tyrannical regime.

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