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Iranian Reformists Register for Presidential Runs


Two leading Iranian reformists have officially signed up as candidates for the presidency, challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he tries for a second term.

The moderate challengers, former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and ex-parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi, leveled criticism at the current president Saturday as they registered to run for the June 12 poll.

Both men said they would seek to repair Iran's relations with the outside world, which have been damaged during Mr. Ahmadinejad's four-year rule.

Mr. Mousavi is seen as the president's main challenger.

Mr. Ahmadinejad officially declared his candidacy for a second term Friday.

He joined fellow conservative contender Mohsen Rezaei in registering as candidates for the election.

Although Iran's nuclear program and Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments about Israel and the Holocaust have generated attention abroad, analysts predict the worsening Iranian economy and high inflation will dominate the campaign. Reformists accuse President Ahmadinejad of mismanaging the country's crude oil resources.

The president has won praise at home for taking steps to raise Iran's profile in rocket and satellite technology.

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