Now that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsajani, the chairman of the Expediency Council, has entered the race for president, conservative MP Ali Motahari has announced he will serve as spokesman for that campaign.
The Mehr News Agency reports that campaign organizers for the moderate cleric had their first meeting yesterday.
Motahari said that he had been meeting Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani since December, urging him to run in the elections and use his influence on groups and political figures to “return balance to the country.”
Hashemi had declined at first but finally put his name forth as a candidate in the final hours of registration on Saturday May 11.
Later, reformist candidate Mohammad Shariatmadari announced that he will withdraw in favour of Ayatollah Rafsanjani. Hassan Rohani and Mohammadreza Aref had also said that if the moderate cleric entered the campaign, they would withdraw in his favour.
Ayatollah Rafsanjani is quoted as saying: “The government is for the people. It is not possible for someone to do whatever they want and not allow the people to protest. The people own the government… if the government is forced on the people, the people will not collaborate with it, and no dictatorship can succeed in the world.”