During the previous presidential election in June 2013, Rouhani garnered 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million votes.
Influential Shi'ite cleric Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of a powerful organisation in charge of Iran's holiest shrine, appears to be the leading hardline candidate. "Everyone is running, so I chose to run as well", said one candidate, who asked not to be named.
Others believe Rouhani has depleted his political capital with the Supreme Leader by securing his consent to the 2015 nuclear deal, leaving nothing for domestic reforms.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad filed to run in Iran's upcoming presidential election, defying the wishes of the country's supreme leader that he not seek to return to the office.
The Iranian president said that revival of social ethics and the rights of citizenship, transparency as well as free circulation of information would still be on the agenda of his program for the next term of presidency, if elected.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani registered on Friday for next month's election, facing a tougher-than-expected battle thanks to widespread criticism over his handling of the economy.
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Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed past year that he had recommended to Ahmadinejad not to enter the contest.
"From today, protecting the nuclear deal is one of my main plans in political and economic fields", he said, alluding to US President Donald Trump's dislike of the pact reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and also to Iranian hardliners who opposed Rouhani's pursuit of detente with the West.
The president appeared in the afternoon at the interior ministry, where registration to stand for the election runs until Saturday.
Raisi is also a prosecutor at the Special Cleric Court. Another favorite in the election campaign is Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate from the alliance of conservative parties, the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces. The applicants will then be vetted by the Guardian Council, a clerical body that will announce a final list of candidates by April 27.
"I have come to be the candidate for the whole of Iran".