Ali Motahari

Iranian MP Ali Motahari says Saeed Jalili is the preferred candidate of extremists and he must be prevented from being elected.

In an interview with the Ghanoon online website, Motahari said on May 28 that a number of security officials and one of the approved candidates convinced the Guardian Council that the presence of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in the election race would be problematic.

Moderate cleric Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani was disqualified from running in the election, and many top figures have denounced his disqualification, claiming that his ascension to the presidential seat would have been the country’s only hope for escaping the current economic and political crises.

Motahari stressed that now that Rafsanjani has been pulled from the race, every effort must be made to prevent the “victory of the preferred candidate of the extremists.”

He added that Jalili’s victory would be “harmful to the country”, citing his lack of experience as the major reason.

Saeed Jalili is the head of Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. He is closely linked to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Revolutioanry Guards and the Basij.

Hardline cleric Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who had supported Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the last two elections, has now made a public endorsement of Saeed Jalili as a loyal supporter of the Islamic system.