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Iran reformists plan coalition for upcoming presidential election

Iranian former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during an exclusive interview on the upcoming presidential elections in Tehran, Iran on 6 May 2021. [Fatemah Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]
Iranian former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during an exclusive interview on the upcoming presidential elections in Tehran, Iran on 6 May 2021. [Fatemah Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]

A number of Iranian reformists have been in contact with former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to gain his support for a coalition to confront the hard-line head of the judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, in the presidential election scheduled for 18 June 18.

According to a source close to Ahmadinejad, the reformists noted that Iran's Council of Guardians has already barred the most prominent candidates from running in the election to make way for Raisi. He is described as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's "favoured choice".

The source told Al-Jarida that "the reformists" have offered to divide the government with Ahmadinejad if the coalition manages to defeat Raisi. "The reformists did not propose a candidate to support, but most likely it would be Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh or Iran's central bank chief, Abdolnasser Hemmati." It was pointed out that Ahmadinejad has promised to review the reform proposal, despite his previous announcement that he would not participate in the election campaign or support any candidate.

The "fundamentalists" apparently believe that Khamenei is in poor health and want to maintain a grip on power at any cost. Hence, added the source, others across the political spectrum believe that it is necessary to unite in order to save the country.

READ: UN nuclear watchdog unable to access key Iran data since February 

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