Mostafa Kavakebian today said that the elections should not be tied to the talks currently under way in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal. He added that the negotiations should not become a partisan issue, and the success of negotiations, despite which faction is responsible, is a victory for the entire nation.
The Reform Front released an initial list of 13 candidates that they will endorse in this election (in order): Mohammad-Javad Zarif; Eshaq Jahangiri; Mostafa Tajzadeh; Masoud Pezeshkian; Mohammad-Reza Aref; Mohsen Hashemi; Mohammad Shariatmadari; Mostafa Kavakebian; Mahmoud Sadeghi; Zahra Shojaei; Shahindokht Molaverdi; Abbas Akhundi; and Sadegh Kharazi. Among the names are two women (Shojaei and Molaverdi) and three members of the Rouhani administration not associated with the Reform movement (Zarif, Jahangiri and Molaverdi). Already, the list has run into trouble. In addition to Zarif’s ongoing problems, Abbas Akhundi was named as a defendant in an indictment for a corruption trial, the news of which was published 30 minutes before the release of the Reform Front’s candidate list.
Three Reformist candidates – Mostafa Kavakebian, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh and Masoud Pezeshkian – met in the office of a fourth, Mohsen Rahami, to celebrate iftar on Saturday night. The meeting, which was not advertised to the media, was allegedly to discuss the political situation in Iran and strategies for the Reformists in the Presidential election.
In response to a question about most of Rouhani’s supporter base being Reformists, candidate Mostafa Kavakebian stated that he had no regrets about voting for the President as a Reformist, even when he had been an unsuccessful candidate running against Rouhani. Kavakebian added that this was normal for Reformists: “When our party has a candidate who isn’t approved, we seek out the [approved] candidate that is better than the others; at that time, we recognised it was Rouhani”.