Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he plans to retire from politics at the end of his second term next year, according to an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published Saturday.
Ahmadinejad told the German newspaper that he intends to return to academia. He said that although he might engage in political activity at a university, "I will not found any political party or group."
Ahmadinejad is forbidden from running in Iran's June 2013 elections because of term limits, though he could run in later elections. When asked whether, like Russia's President Vladimir Putin, he envisions returning to the presidency at a later date, he replied: "No, eight years are enough."
Last year, Ahmadinejad lost a power struggle with Iran's ruling system, which had helped him rise from Tehran's city hall to the presidency in 2005.
The Iranian president's comments may reflect his intentions not to act against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his followers. The comments follow reports in recent months saying Ahmadinejhad clashed with Khamenei by tying to reduce the power of the ayatollahs.
In Saturday's interview with the German daily, Ahmadinejad also addressed the new round of nuclear talks with six Western powers, slated to start on Monday in Moscow, saying he hoped to see progress.
"We are ready to take, on a voluntary basis, a positive step, if the other side is also taking such steps. We hope that we can make progress in Moscow," Ahmadinejad said, noting, however, that, "we are not expecting any miracles at the next meeting."