Karoubi to vote for Rouhani in Iran's presidential election

The candidate, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, threw his support behind Ebrahim Raisi, a former top official of the judiciary, who is seen as the main threat to the moderate incumbent, President Hassan Rouhani.

"A two-way race between Rouhani and Raisi will polarize society and mobilize the electorate", said Ali Vaez, senior Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group.

NCRI users uploaded videos that allegedly show Iranians k holding signs against elections, or against Rouhani, or Raisi in public places in Tehran and Ara.

To win, the candidate must score more than 50 percent of the vote.

Although many issues have been resolved, explained the ex-president, bigger issues remain, which all Iranians must help to solve. Some have speculated that Qalibaf could serve as a vice president in Raisi's administration in exchange for his support.

It was assumed Jahangiri ran to back up Rouhani in pre-election debates and he said at his registration that he stood "side-by-side" with the president who is seeking a second four-year mandate.

According to local Iranian news outlet Tasnim News Agency, Raisi reportedly expressed his gratitude to Ghalibaf saying 'I thank him.

The election is largely viewed as a referendum on the nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015 under his leadership. His landmark policy has been the reduction of sanctions against Iran via rolling back on the county's nuclear programme. "Repeat the vote for dear Rouhani, to boost hope for future", he said on Sunday, referring to Friday's presidential election.

Some conservatives had been unhappy that Qalibaf was standing again and risking a split in the anti-Rouhani vote.

"It was easy to confront Qalibaf because of his debate performance and past experiences, but it's more hard for them to confront Raisi as he's really a newcomer to the political scene", Izadi said.

Having now called on conservative voters to unite behind Raisi, Qalibaf could conceivably upset forecasts that Rouhani was on course for a comfortable victory.

There are now four candidates running for presidency, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim.

  • Leroy Wright