Following recent speculation that Iranian presidential hopeful and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is a candidate from the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad camp, Jalili made a statement denying the allegations.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s top choice for the role of president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, was disqualified by the Guardian Council. The Ahmadinejad camp has recently fallen out of favour with Islamic Republic hardliners, who have referred to its members as a “deviant current.”
Jalili said on Sunday: “I am by no means representative of the administration and the deviant current, and I deny all these statements.”
Among those voices critical of Jalili, deputy parliamentary speaker Mohammadreza Bahonar was quoted as saying that Ahmadinejad and Jalili have “the same blood type.”
Jalili refuted the statement, saying: “I am not the candidate of the administration or the deviant current, my election platform is based on the Islamic Revolution and the sayings of the wise leader of the Revolution.”
The Guardian Council has approved eight candidates to run in the presidential election, which will take place on June 14.