Prominent Cleric Endorses Rouhani

Prominent Cleric Endorses Rouhani

Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani's reelection bid received a boost on Friday, as influential figure Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri endorsed him for the May 19 presidential vote. Nateq-Nouri, a former interior minister and Majlis speaker, wields great influence in the two main Iranian political camps of reformists and principlists. Rouhani's second presidential campaign in this year's six-man race is already enjoying unanimous reformist support, IRNA reported. Nateq-Nouri, who also heads the Leader's inspection office, told a gathering of scholars of Qom Theological School that his approval of Rouhani was based on a "religious and national" duty. He described the incumbent administration's track record as "good and acceptable", praising Rouhani for battling problems he inherited from the previous administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Nateq-Nouri said the current government has managed to ease tensions in Iran's international relations, handle economic instability and tame inflation, among other achievements. The six presidential hopefuls launched on April 21 their campaigns that can last until 24 hours before voting begins. On Friday, they took part in the second pre-election debate on political and cultural issues.


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