VP Stresses Reformist Consensus on Rouhani Candidacy

VP Stresses Reformist Consensus on Rouhani CandidacyVP Stresses Reformist Consensus on Rouhani Candidacy

A vice president said there is consensus among reformists and moderates to field President Hassan Rouhani for reelection in the May 2017 vote.

"It's too early for me to say which candidate is well-positioned or not. But most of the moderate and reformist political groups are already on record saying they'll support Rouhani," Massoumeh Ebtekar said in an interview with Euronews published on Thursday.

"Just like in 2013, there is consensus about his candidacy. Rouhani is still the main candidate for the moderate reformist movement," She said.

The Guardians Council, a 12-member body of clerics and jurists that vets candidates for any election, disqualified a large number of reformists, among them many prominent figures, from running in elections early this year for the parliament and an influential clerical body, tasked with appointing and dismissing the Leader of Islamic Revolution and supervising his work.

"I hope we can hold a free and fair election in which any party or political organization that recognizes the Islamic Republic's Constitution can stand. It is really important to organize a clean election in which every citizen takes part," Ebtekar said.

Iran and world powers, including the US, reached a deal in July 2015 that has been in effect since January to ease sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear work.

US president-elect, Donald Trump, railed against the historic agreement, seen as a foreign policy legacy of outgoing President Barack Obama, as he campaigned for the White House.

He denounced it as "a disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated" and once even vowed to tear it up if he became president, although he later backtracked on that threat, conceding that it would be too hard to dismantle a deal enshrined in a UN resolution.

Ebtekar, who also heads the Department of Environment, was asked about whether the deal stands a chance of holding under Trump.

"I think it's too early to say. When politicians are campaigning they say one thing, but once in power they tend to moderate their language," she answered.

"The nuclear deal is important for Iran, America, Europe and the international community, and I hope all the parties concerned recognize its importance for world peace. However, it will need all those involved to face up to their responsibilities in making it work and keeping promises. What remains worrying is that Iran, which has always respected its commitments, is still waiting for others to do so and reciprocate."


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