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Rouhani May Withdraw from Presidential Race in Favor of Rafsanjani’s Brother - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- The current Iranian President’s camp is racing to put multiple scenarios ahead of the date of the announcement by the Guardian Council of the Constitution on Thursday.

Brother of former Iranian President Mohammed Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday that President Hassan Rouhani may drop out in his favor, denying any internal competition in the reformers and moderates’ coalition.

For its part, Iran’s Election Commission announced on Monday that it approved the candidacy of Rafsanjani’s son Mohsen Hashemi and his daughter Fatima for the May 19 elections coinciding with the presidential elections.

On the other hand, reactions to the candidacy of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the conservative camp continued yesterday.

While former MP Ahmed Tavakoli requested the Guardian Council of the Constitution to reject Ahmadinejad’s candidacy for what he considered “opposition the elements of the regime,” Minister of Intelligence and Security Heydar Moslehi warned of the possibility of new protests aimed at mobilizing the poor during the upcoming elections, in reference to Ahmadinejad’s slogans to improve the economic situation of citizens.

In a statement to Tasnim News Agency, Mohammed Hashemi Rafsanjani said that he decided to submit his candidacy in defense of the goals of his late brother Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Meanwhile, Rafsanjani confirmed that his party would choose a final candidate according to the campaign trail that runs from 28 April to 17 May.

The entrance of Hashemi and Rouhani’s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri to the presidential race in the last moments came in the context of a plan for his brother Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani before his death on January 8, according to what Hasehmi’s statements revealed.

According to Hashemi, his late brother stressed the necessity of competing against Rouhani, noting that in addition to running for presidency he asked current Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, former Parliament Speaker Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri and Jahangiri to register in the election race.

Hashemi pointed out during his statements to the complementary role Jahangiri is supposed to play with Rouhani in the election campaigns.

He confirmed that there is no difference in the political programs between him and Jahangiri in case the latter was chosen to represent the party in the presidential elections.