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                                        Volume. 12112

‘Rafsanjani may support Khatami in presidential election’
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_mt1(43).jpgTEHRAN – Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani may support the candidacy of former president Mohammad Khatami in the June presidential election, former Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi has said.   
 
“Mr. Hashemi is considering backing a candidate in the upcoming election… and, perhaps, he believes that Khatami is the best candidate to win the vote,” Karbaschi, one of the founders of the Executives of Construction Party, told the Mehr News Agency in an interview published on Saturday.
 
Karbaschi said Rafsanjani himself may not contest the election, saying Rafsanjani’s status is much higher to be engaged in administrative jobs. Moreover, he said, fulfilling president’s responsibilities is physically challenging for Rafsanjani at his age.     
 
He added if Rafsanjani decides to run in the election “I and many other will definitely support him.”
 
The chairman of the Executives of Construction Party said currently even some reformists like Saeed Hajarian, that principlists consider as hardliner, believe that “system’s problems can be resolved by Mr. Hashemi.”   
 
Asked whether he has any intention to run for the president, Karbaschi said, “I’m not interested whatsoever.” 
 
Karbaschi also said he believes that Khatami should not contest the presidential election, even if there is no obstacle in his way.     
 
Karbaschi, who was Mehdi Karrubi’s running mate in the 2009 presidential election, said reformists’ candidate will not be opposing the system.
 
“We are seeking to help improve internal and external issues of the country” and this demand by reformists should not be deemed as opposition to the system, the former Tehran mayor stated.    
 
On some recent remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which some have interpreted as overtures to win the support of reformists, Karbaschi said these statements and gestures by Ahmadinejad and his possible candidate in the June presidential election are just publicity stunts. 
 
Reformists do not take these gestures seriously, he added. 
 
Recently, Ahmadinejad and his close ally Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei have talked about controversial issues, such as “the Iranian school of thought”, which is generally seen as an effort to get closer to reformists.  
 
However, Karbaschi dismissed such moves, saying that Ahmadinejad, serving two terms in office, had time for more than seven years to deal with reformists in a better way and improve the country’s situation, which he has failed to do. 
 
MT/PA

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