Only one week to the Iran’s first presidential election since the 2009 election which president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won causing street unrest, currently all private polls by Iran’s intelligence ministry, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting organization and some other governmental organizations show Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Ali Akbar Velayati and Saeed Jalili all Principalists respectively will have the most votes. So Hasan Rowhani and Mohammad Reza Aref two reformist candidates, cannot even enter the run off round if the reformists don’t agree on a single candidate to stay in the race.
Unofficial but reliable polls either by governmental institutes or private institutes show each of the two reformist candidates can gain almost 8% of ballots, while Ghalibaf would win about 30% of ballots and Velayati and Jalili each have about 11% of votes.
Mohammad Reza Aref Vice President under Mohammad Khatami’s administration said several times during the last two weeks that he will “stay till the end” and he does not recognize Rowhani who is an envoy of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei in Iran’s National Security Council as a reformist.
But Rowhani’s campaign manager Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said on Thursday that both Aref and Rowhani welcome a coalition and they are working on that.
On the same day Sayed Hadi Khamenei a prominent reformist figure and a key member of the reformist Association of Combatant Clerics said Mohammad Reza Aref is the representative of all reformists.
“Hassan Rowhani is not a reformist. The Council for Coordinating the Reformist Front supports Aref,” he said during the inauguration of Aref’s campaign headquarters in the city of Chanaran.
Aref’s spokesman complains about Rowhani’s refrain from accepting the decision to unify behind Aref
Although an interview with Hasan Rasooli (a deputy of Mohammad Reza Aref) with Iran’sView on Thursday shows some developments in the reformist’s front.
“Reformists will gain a better result if Dr. Aref and Dr. Rowhani agree on a mechanism initiated by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami to determine a single candidate to remain in the race,” said Hasan Rasooli in an exclusive interview with Iran’sView.
Rasooli said Mohammad Khatami a key leader of the reformist front is trying to form a coalition.
The spokesman of Aref said the Reformist presidential candidate will welcome Khatami’s decision but he expects the decision to not be affected by “unreal inductions”.
“If Mr. Rowhani and his campaigners have more cooperation, we can reach a better result for the coalition,” this mild complaint from Rasooli can be a sign of Rowhani’s refrain from accepting the reformist leaders’ decision which seems to be a consensus on Aref as the candidate of the reformists.
Mohammad Khatami has a close relation with Aref, former vice president under Khatami’s administration. Aref also could gain a better result in polls compared to Rowhani.
On the other hand, Hashemi Rafsanjani a former two-term president of Iran and a powerful figure close to the reformists is closer to Hasan Rowhani. but Rowhani’s record as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in talks with three European countries (Britain, France and Germany) which resulted in suspending all Iran’s nuclear activities is a weakness point of him that brings most attacks and critics of the Principalists.
This difference between the two most prominent reformist leaders maybe made the decision making more difficult. ”
“Anyways, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Khatami both will publicly support the final candidate of the reformists,” Aref’s deputy said in an exclusive interview with Iran’sView.