Announced at Press Conference
Although the reformists have not yet agreed on a single candidate to represent them in the upcoming presidential election, yesterday former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karoubi officially announced his candidacy, only a few days after meeting with high-ranking clerics in the holy city of Qom.
Karoubi's press conference was held yesterday against the backdrop of varied reactions from the reformists. Former president Khatami's interior minister, Mousavi Lari thought that "Karoubi and Khatami's candidacy" were not connected, while Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoiniha, the central figure in the Majma'e Rowhaniyoon-e Mobarez [Association of Combatant Clerics], described Khatami's presence as the "only way to save the nation."
Sixth Majlis Speaker and current Secretary General of Etemad Melli political party, Mehdi Karoubi officially announced yesterday in a press conference that he would run in the upcoming presidential election in Iran.
According to news agencies, responding to a question from a Fars news agency reporter, Mehdi Karoubi said that his most serious opponent in the upcoming election is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, noting, "With respect to competing friends, up to this moment my serious opponent is Mr. Ahmadinejad who is now the president and working. With respect to our own friends, meaning reformist friends, I have not yet seen anyone coming forward for serious competition."
Commenting on the reception of his candidacy, Karoubi introduced his strategy of "silence," adding, "If people say something against me and my friends I do not intend to defend myself, even if newspapers write something against me, even if what they write is unfair, I intend to remain fully silent."
Karoubi faced reporters yesterday as he was clearly attempting to convey that his candidacy was the reflection of wishes of many officials. Last week, after meetings that Karoubi held with several prominent political figures, he traveled to Qom to meet with several high-ranking clerics. Karoubi even said that he met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, though he added that the meeting was part of normal proceedings observed during Khatami's time as well.