Hooshang Amirahmadi may have left Iran in 1975, but the Princeton resident doesn't think that should stop him from seeking the presidency of his former homeland.
The Rutgers University professor of Middle Eastern studies is looking to replace Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the second time. Amirahmadi, 65, tried running for president in 2005 but was turned down by Iran's Council of Guardians, which vets candidates and supervises elections. He faces the same obstacle this time around.
Amirahmadi is at odds with the current regime, believing that Iran should pursue friendlier relations with the United States and Israel. He said it was a mistake for Ahmadinejad to make Holocaust-denying statements. And he doesn't think Iran should pursue nuclear weapons.
Amirahmadi's platform calls for an end to the country's factional infighting and addressing the nation's "economic malaise," including inflation. He said he is in the best position to thaw U.S.-Iranian relations.
Amirahmadi was hired by Rutgers in 1983. He is the former director of the Rutgers Center for Middle Eastern Studies and is a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.