Vice President Jahangiri Quits Iran Presidential Election Race

Iran's reformist ex-president endorses Rouhani

Iran's reformist ex-president endorses Rouhani

Iran's first Vice President and presidential election candidate Eshaq Jahangiri announced on Tuesday to withdraw from the presidential race in order to back incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.

Two other candidates, conservative Mostafa Mirsalim, a former culture minister, and centrist Mostafa Hashemitaba, a former head of the Iranian National Olympic Committee, remain in the race, with Hashemitaba saying that he will vote for Rohani.

Addressing the Iranian people, he said, "We hope that on the day of the election (May 19), we would decide our fate for the coming years and decades".

Both Qalibaf and Raisi have said that Rohani has failed to translate a 2015 deal with global powers, which restricted Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions, into a better life for Iranians.

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Ghalibaf and Raisi clashed with Rouhani during last Friday's nationally televised debate.

President Hassan Rouhani remains the narrow favourite for a second term thanks to Iran's re-engagement with the world after the lifting of sanctions, but has been hammered by hardline foes over his failure to rehabilitate the economy.

Rouhani also hinted that the military forces were participating in the electoral campaign of Raisi in an illegal way. Since 1981, every Iranian president has won re-election. "At the end of the week, Rouhani is gone". Obviously, U.S. President Donald Trump's repeated denunciations of the Iran nuclear deal could add fuel to charges by hard-liners that Mr. Rouhani is too close to the West. Hardline Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who quit the race to shore up support for Raising, used Twitter and Telegram to release documents accusing his rivals of corruption.

Nevertheless, elections are fiercely contested and can bring about change within the system of rule overseen by Shi'a Muslim clerics. He said he considers supporting Rouhani and a vote in favor of the incumbent president. A large voter turnout would ease his concern about the legitimacy of the Iranian regime and its ability to preserve the social and political balance in the face of numerous domestic challenges and regional discord.

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