Brigadier-General Hussein Dehghan, Iran's former defence minister and current military adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is the first hopeful to confirm his intention to run in the presidential election slated for June, local media reported yesterday.
According to AP, Dehghan described himself as a "nationalist" with "no conventional political tendency."
Dehghan, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury since November 2019, warned against any American military escalation in US President Donald Trump's final weeks in office.
He said that he would be open to talks with the West, but stressed that this could not include Iran's ballistic missiles, which he described as a "deterrent" to Tehran's adversaries.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will not negotiate its defensive power … with anybody under any circumstances," AP reported Dehghan saying. "Missiles are a symbol of the massive potential that is in our experts, young people and industrial centres."