Iran 's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has filed to run in the country's May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the nation's Supreme Leader to stay out of the race.

Associated Press journalists watched as stunned election officials processed Ahmadinejad 's paperwork on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad previously said he wasn't going to run after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised him not to.

But many hard-liners in Iran seek a tough-talking candidate to rally around who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iran 's moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who negotiated the nuclear deal with world powers, is expected to run for re-election.