On March 11, the Moderation and Development Party announced Hassan Rouhani’s candidacy for president. He is a senior member of the Expediency Council, a powerful government body that resolves disputes between parliament and the Guardian Council. Rouhani is also a former head of the Supreme National Security Council and the former lead nuclear negotiator. The conservative cleric is the fourth candidate to enter the race, after Ali Fallahian, Manoucher Mottaki and Mohsen Rezaei.
Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Council, condemned the reformist candidates from the disputed 2009 election. The candidate called Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi “U.S. agents” on March 13, according to Iranian news media. “Some may say that such a comment came late, but no one took [a] position against the intrigue leaders as I did,” he said. Rezaei is optimistic about the upcoming race, and said it will be different than the 2005 and 2009 elections, which he lost. The following are recent remarks by Rezaei and Rouhani.
“Anybody who wants to stand as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election should work out a solution and present practical plans for these problems… In many elections, especially presidential elections, the campaign climate have been bipolar but this time it will definitely be multi-polar.” January 22, in an interview with Mehr News Agency
“Some may say that such a comment came late, but no one took [a] position against the intrigue leaders as I did. I do believe that I must have expressed myself on this matter in the right time for more effectiveness, and the right time was when it lead to their detention.” March 13, according to the Young Journalists Club