Ahmadinejad, known for denying the Holocaust and consistently threatening to destroy Israel, was elected into office in 2005 until 2013 when he fell out with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Critics of Ahmadinejad have condemned him for fuelling inflation and his creation of Iran’s diplomatic isolation through his anti-Western rhetoric and expansion of Iran’s nuclear programme.
Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013. Under Iranian law, he became eligible to run again after four years out of office, but he remains a polarising figure, even among fellow hard-liners.
Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009 sparked massive protests known as the Green Movement and a sweeping crackdown in which thousands of people were detained, dozens killed and others tortured. Current President Hassan Rouhani, is viewed as more moderate and is expected to run again.