Former VP Calls on Reformists to Name Candidate for Presidential Elections

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s former first vice-president Mohammad Reza Aref said that he believes that reformists should name their candidate soon in the run-up to the next year’s presidential elections.

“I believe that the reformists should choose and declare their presidential candidate as soon as possible,” Aref told the Iranian students news agency in an interview published on Friday.

He stated he “disagrees” with some persons who say they should delay naming their candidate to “avoid smear campaign”.

He called on all the reformist groups to avoid splits by agreeing on single candidate based on consensus in the future.

The former first vice-president said in regard to the current local and international environment former president Mohammad Khatami is the “best option”.

He said Khatami can realize the 2O-Year Outlook Plan as the ideal path to prosperity as he has eight years of experience as president.

The 20-Year Outlook Plan defines a macro strategy for the country’s economic, social, and cultural development for the next 20 years.

“If Mr. Khatami, due to any reason, decides not to run then we should move towards consensus (candidate).”

He predicted that there will be low turnout if reformists name more than one candidate.

Asked whether he will stand for presidential election, he said, “I have not announced candidacy in any of my interviews or speeches.”

However, Aref pointed out he has expressed his preparedness for contesting the elections.

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