Iran Hopes

A Weblog on Iranian Affairs (Formerly Iran Votes 2005)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rezaee out, Ahmadi Nejad in

With almost twenty four hours until the ballots open, Rezaee is out (as predicted) and the number is down to seven (although he has not yet officially reported his withdrawal to the Ministry of Interior). Rezaee has been reported as saying that he pulled out under no pressure. But he was under pressure for a long time since before he officially registered his candidature. However, he had resisted to pressures throughout, as one of his motives was to prove to the Leader, who fired him from the office of the commander in chief of Sepah after his son had sought asylum in the US a few years ago, that he still enjoys some popularity among Sepahis. A few days ago, a number of Sepahi Generals issued a statement supporting Rezaee, whom, the statement said, was a symbol of the good memories of victories during the Iran-Iraq war. Now it seems that Rezaee regarded the statement sufficient to prove his point.
People from the Council for Coeperating the Revolutionary Forces (CCRF), a hardliner body, recently increased their pressure on both Rezaee and Ahmadi Nejad to convince them that it would be against the interest of the hardliners to have four candidates in the election, particularly with the 'risk' of Rafsanjani's victory just around the corner. Obviously, Rezaee was less stubborn than Ahmadi Nejad. It is said that one of the members of the CCRF (probably Bahonar) addressed Ahamdi Nejad in anger and frustration after he failed to respond to CCRF demand to withdraw, accusing him (Ahmadi Nejad) of striving for power not service to people (referring to Ahmadi Nejad's motto that his only intention is to be of service to people).

I will have more on the latest developments in my next post.

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