Hojjatoleslam Abbas Nabavi, the director of the Institute for Islamic Civilisation and Development, announced he will run for president. In a press conference, Nabavi presented himself as a moderate candidate, stating that since 1997 politics had been polarised between Principalists and Reformists, and he offered a neutral way forward.
Conservative candidate Ezzatollah Zarghami announced his campaign would be “bread, housing and freedom”. Zarghami added that he was not a “cover candidate” for anyone else, and he would be campaigning in his own right. He also expressed his interest in the Argentine-Cuban Revolutionary, Che Guevara.
A rumour is circulating that high profile Reformist Mohammad-Reza Aref has decided to go it alone in pursuing his presidential campaign, and that he has broken with former president Mohammad-Reza Khatami and the wider Reformist Institution. An article in Mashregh news noted that in recent weeks, Aref has been campaigning with his own team and not with the help official Reformists organisations, and speculation is that he has grown sick of being side lined in Reformist institutions. Aref was the only Reformist candidate in the 2013 Election, as was bitter at the pressure placed upon him to renounce his candidacy in favour of Hassan Rouhani.
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Manouchehr Mottaki, the former foreign minister and current spokesperson for the Unity Council of Principalists, stated that Ebrahim Raisi was still the preferred candidate for the Principalist faction. Mottaki added that his organisation, the Unity Council, was also in talks with several other declared candidates in order to judge their ideological suitability. Raisi is yet to announce his candidacy and has previously stated that he would not run.
Hardline conservative politician and deputy speaker of the Parliament, Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, today announced he would nominate to run for President. In his announcement, Ghazizadeh stated that he had a plan for fixing the country’s woes, and he took aim at the Reformists, stating that their past behaviour meant that people were unlikely to vote for them
Former IRGC commander, cleric and current governor of Qom, Mohammad-Sadegh Salehimanesh, stated that the sage of Saeed Mohammad’s candidacy is a warning to the Armed Forces about the dangers of military involvement in politics. Salehimanesh argued that the contradictory statements made by Sharif and Javani indicate how political divisions have played out in the IRGC as a result of Mohammad’s nomination. He concluded that the IRGC should focus on its main objective – protecting the country and responding to disasters.
IRGC spokesman Commander Ramazan Sharif criticised his colleague Commander Yadollah Javani for claiming that Saeed Mohammad was dismissed from service for breaking regulations rather than resigning. Sharif stated that Javani may believe that a breach of regulations took place, but this was not the view of the IRGC as an institution. Javani also sought to clarify his comments on Saturday, releasing a statement that said Saeed Mohammad’s alleged dismissal related to “political-electoral behaviour that is contrary to the current regulations of the IRGC”.
Saeed Mohammad’s office issued a statement denying the claims of Commander Yadollah Javani. Yesterday, Javani told the media that Mohammad had been dismissed from the IRGC for misconduct and had not resigned as previously reported. Mohammad’s office added that Javani was not a spokesperson for the IRGC, and that Javani’s statement had been misrepresented by the media.
Ramin Mehmanparast, who served as spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry during the Ahmadinejad administration, yesterday sought to distance himself from the controversial former President. Mehmanparast stated that “I have no political relationship with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During his presidency, despite some differences of opinion, I was the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked with two foreign ministers, Manouchehr Mottaki and Ali Akbar Salehi”. Mehmanparast, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, likely directed his comments both to potential voters and to the Guardian Council, which rumour has it has already notified Ahmadinejad that it won’t approve his candidacy.