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News number: 8712230603

14:14 | 2009-03-13


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Khatami Fights in Election to the End

TEHRAN (FNA)- Mohammad Khatami's campaign manager rejected reports that the former Iranian president will back off from the upcoming election.

"Khatami will be in the elections up until the end. He would have never entered the race if he had to withdraw for any reason," Mohammad Reza Aref told reporters on Thursday, press tv reported.

After Iran's last Prime Minister, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, officially announced his bid for the presidency on Tuesday, reports said that Khatami may step down in favor of Mousavi.

Aref, however, said that the former President has specific reasons for participating in the election, among which are repeated calls from the public as well as the Reformists' determination to bring about change.

Concerning Mousavi's candidacy, Aref welcomed his re-entering the political arena after 20 years, which he said reflected the last Premier's 'concern' about the current situation of the country.

A former vice-president in Khatami's administration, Aref did express hope, however, that the Reformist camp could reach a consensus on one single candidate in order to win a majority of the votes.

From the Reformist camp, former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the last Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi have officially announced their candidacy for the Presidency.

There are speculations that the rival Principlist camp would reach a consensus on one candidate to oppose the Reformists.

No political figure from the Principlist camp has yet announced their candidacy, but incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to re-enter the elections for the second term.