Conservatives to Introduce a Candidate as Rouhani’s Rival: Politician

Mohammad-Reza Mirtajeddini

An Iranian conservative politician says the political faction endeavours to reach an agreement on Rouhani’s opponent in Iran’s 2017 presidential elections.

“As the conservative faction was confident of winning in 2013 [presidential elections], it disregarded its competitors. Therefore, an internal competition among conservatives led to our defeat,” noted Mohammad-Reza Mirtajeddini, a former Vice-President.

According to a Farsi report by Entekhab, he added that “the conservatives should be totally coordinated now if they don’t want to lose once again.

“So we are going to introduce only one conservative figure in 2017 elections who meets our principal criteria and is recognized by all conservative groups.”

“Regarding the strategy of conservative faction and adherents of Islamic Revolution in 2017 elections, we are discussing who will be the conservative candidate within our circles,” he said.

“It is likely to take about two months to define the frameworks and criteria. Conservatives from all parties will take part in decision-making process.”

As regards the candidacy of such conservative politicians as Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (current Mayor of Tehran) and Saeed Jalili (Iran’s nuclear negotiator under Ahmadinejad), both of whom were defeated by Hassan Rouhani during last presidential elections, he said, “Politicians should officially announce their participation in 2017 presidential elections of Iran.”

He also referred to the speculations about the conservative camp’s possible support for Rouhani in the next presidential votes, and said, “Some insist that conservatives have no tendency to favour Rouhani. Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani, the secretary-general of Combatant Clergy Association [a leading conservative faction], has announced it.”

“Because of his mentality and policy, we don’t consider Rouhani as a conservative. We will definitely have a candidate to compete with Rouhani during 2017 elections,” he went on to say.

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