Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president of Iran from 2005 to 2013, has registered as a candidate for the upcoming 13th presidential election.
Flanked by friends and members of his political retinue, the ex-president presented himself at the Ministry of Interior to register on Wednesday, May 12.
Ahmadinejad's entourage was prevented from entering the registry office, leading to scuffles between them and ministry staffers.
According to safety protocols in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, only one person can accompany a would-be candidate into the building while they register.
Ruhollah Jomei, an adviser to the Interior Minister, said on Wednesday: “Unfortunately, despite the efforts of executive agents to ensure compliance, the protocols were violated by Ahmadinejad and the released videos show an altercation occurred.”
A group of Ahmadinejad supporters also gathered outside the building, chanting "Reformist, principalist, you’re finished." The slogan has previously been used by opposition groups in nationwide protests.
For his part, Ahmadinejad told the reporters present: "Let me register to see if my credentials are recognized at all!"
Among the crowd that gathered outside the building were a bride and groom who said they had come on behalf of “the people” to say Ahmadinejad should become head of government. Few in the gathering were observing social distancing rules.
Ahmadinejad also tried to register as a candidate for the presidential election in 2017, but was disqualified by the Guardian Council. This year’s vote is due to take place on June 18.