Iran Reformer Withdraws From Presidential Race

Iran’s moderate candidate for president, Mohammad Khatami, suddenly withdrew his name for the presidential campaign that will occur this spring. He was expected to be a strong challenger to the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, Kahatami said he would support another moderate candidate whose name is yet unknown. The June election will be important because many moderates were hoping Khatami would be receptive to discussions with President Obama and would be receptive to possible changes to accomodate Western requests about its nuclear program.

It appears Khatami decided to withdraw because he feared there would be two reform candidates and they would split the vote which would ensure victory for Ahmadinejad. There are reports the other moderate will be former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi. Many reform supporters are concerned because they do not believe Mousavi has the strength to gain a majority of the votes.

In the end, the most important vote is that of religious leader Khamenei.