Latest on the Race: Rouhani Declares Candidacy, Rezaei Condemns Opposition

March 11, 2013

            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.

Hassan Rouhani
            “[Those] making important decisions will encounter serious problems if parties are not empowered and do not find their [rightful] place… Parties can play a valuable role in the society.” March 10, according to Iranian news media
            “The new government will have many challenges and the new president’s job will be very tough… At least in the area of economy, the new government will face great problems.”
            “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
Mohsen Rezaei
            “I see them [Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi] as U.S. agents and I said on February 15, 2011 that if these two do not apologize before the nation, people could arrest them…”
            “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
See the articles below for recent coverage of the 2013 presidential election: