Principlist Bodies Support Raeisi for President

Principlist Bodies Support Raeisi for President
Principlist Bodies Support Raeisi for President

Two powerful principlist-minded bodies on Tuesday threw their weight behind Ebrahim Raeisi, a leading challenger to incumbent Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid in the May 19 poll. Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom, a clerical association founded in 1961, announced in a statement that its high council has decided after extensive discussions and consulting prominent clerics to back Raeisi as "the fittest candidate".

It urged voters to help advance social justice and the fight against poverty, corruption and discrimination by casting their ballots in his favor, ISNA reported. Islamic Revolution Resistance Front, an offshoot of the United Front of Principlists formed in 2012 by critics of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, issued a separate statement endorsing Raeisi.

It said Raeisi, after gaining years of experience in Iran's judiciary and serving people as the custodian of the holy shrine of Imam Reza [PBUH] in a "revolutionary" manner, would be able to honor "unfulfilled promises" of the incumbent administration to "settle economic problems and create jobs for the youth".

Raeisi has focused his campaign on economy, vowing to support domestic producers, generate millions of jobs for the unemployed and look after the needy. He, alongside the other high-profile principlist contender, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, has blasted Rouhani for being unable to address Iran's economic woes. Rouhani won the 2013 race on a platform of improving Iran's foreign relations and lifting severe international sanctions that caused the economy to go into freefall.

His signature achievement, the July 2015 nuclear deal, enabled him to give foreign investors an opening to the country.

But some analysts believe the unfortunate behavior of the US, a party to the deal that seems eager to keep pressuring Iran to draw concessions on non-nuclear disputes, has disrupted Rouhani's efforts to extract the most benefits from the pact and revitalize the economy.



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