Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Iranian moderates pin their hopes on cleric

A female supporter of Iranian presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani holds his poster in front of her face during a street campaign Tuesday.

Associated Press

A female supporter of Iranian presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani holds his poster in front of her face during a street campaign Tuesday.

TEHRAN, Iran — Before Friday's presidential election, moderates and reformists in Iran are coalescing behind Hasan Rowhani, a cleric and former nuclear negotiator, as their best hope of staving off a field of divided conservatives, who had been seen as having the upper hand.

Among those endorsing Rowhani are two former presidents, including Mohammad Khatami, who threw his support behind the candidate on Tuesday after the withdrawal of reformist Mohammad Reza Araf, who had served as Khatami's vice president during his first term. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose presidential bid was thwarted by the clerical body tasked with vetting candidates, also has endorsed Rowhani.

The withdrawal of Araf, a Stanford-educated engineer, added to a growing sense of hope within Rowhani's campaign, which includes reformists and moderates and is banking on winning the votes of Iranians tired of their country's diplomatic and economic isolation.

"It was never about me or Dr. Araf," Rowhani said in a statement thanking Araf. "It has always been about our shared goals."

The field has dwindled to six candidates, with Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, a hard-line former speaker of parliament, also exiting. The candidates include three prominent conservatives. Haddad-Adel did not endorse any of them, underscoring the divisions among the conservatives.

Under the Iranian system, if no candidate gets a majority in the first round, then the top two have a runoff.

Rowhani is seen by many Iranians as a unifier with a track record of working well with different factions. He is also considered one of the Islamic republic's most seasoned foreign policy officials, and his supporters point to the relative success that Iran enjoyed when he led the nuclear negotiations team during Khatami's presidency.

Iranian moderates pin their hopes on cleric 06/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is quick to make his presence felt.
  2. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  3. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Tyler Dyson delivers against LSU in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2. Go to tampabay.com/sports.
  4. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter

    News

    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]
  5. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.