Will the Principalists Settle on Haddad Adel for the Presidency?

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The Reformist daily Etemaad provides analysis of persistent news and rumours that three well-known conservative politicians and prospective presidential candidates, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Ali Akbar Velayati, have held a meeting to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

News of Haddad Adel’s travelling to Qom to meeting with senior clergymen has increased anticipation that election campaigning will soon begin to pick up steam.

In Haddad Adel’s most recent speech in the city of Kerman, he is quoted as saying, “Mr. Velayati, Qalibaf and myself will not be competing together and all three of us will not enter the fold. We will draw up a mechanism [to examine] the legitimacy, acceptability and competency for every appropriate individual [eligible] to run, so that a plurality of candidates doesn’t occur. We will also speak with the Endurance Front and ensure this process is to the benefit of the revolution. We will try to make this happen, because the Endurance Front is a reality that cannot be denied.”

The author, Mehdi Ghadimi, continues:

“If we suppose, in accordance with the comments of Haddad Adel, one of these three individuals will be supported by the other two as “the most appropriate choice,” we must from now prepare ourselves for the candidacy of Haddad Adel in the future presidential election. The Society of Disciples (Jamiyat-e rahpuyan) and Devotees (Isagaran) as two old patrons of Haddad Adel, that of course could also possibly support Qalibaf, will not have any inclination toward supporting someone on the traditional right like Velayati.”

“Haddad Adel’s emphasis on the accompaniment of the Endurance Front, also decreases Qalibaf’s chances for being chosen as the appropriate choice because one of the important points of difference separating the Endurance Front from other Principalists, was the presence of the representative of Qalibaf in the group of Principalists. The colleagues of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi up to now have also openly displayed their support for Haddad Adel and will certainly not support Qalibaf. By this account, [only] one side of the triangle “Haddad Adel, Qalibaf, Velayati” can at the same time receive the support of the Disciples, Devotees and the Endurance Front, and that is none other than Gholam Ali Haddad Adel. … It seems that Ali Larijani also doesn’t have the intention of participating in the election and this is an encouraging point for Haddad Adel who has tasted defeat at the hands of Larijani in recent years on a number of occasions for the election of Majles Speaker.”

It is of note that Haddad Adel’s daughter is married to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s most politically active son, Mojtaba.

Baztab-e emruz has claimed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, while president and also heading the Expediency Discernment Council, prevented the execution of thousands of Leftist prisoners in 1988.

Mansur Haqiqat Pour, deputy chief of the National Security Commission, in reply to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s suggestion that the Revolutionary Guards sell off the excess of land in its possession, that it is better if the government sell its “villas, palaces and hotels.”

Haqiqat Pour who is a former Revolutionary Guards Commander himself, added that “Ahmadinejad cannot determine the duty of the Guards” and that “the Guards are a military organization whose properties are reserved for special days.” Finally, he commented, “I have no idea why Mr. Ahmadinejad enters these areas.”

In an open letter to Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, maverick Principalist MP, Ali Motahhari, has said that because opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have not been tried in a court and thus no charges have been definitively proven, there would be no grounds for their disqualification from running in the upcoming presidential election.

Commander Hossein Salami, deputy chief to the Revolutionary Guards, at the concluding ceremony of the Congress for the Geography, Development, Defence and Security of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, claimed, “we look realistically at the enemy and use in an interesting way the actual and potential capacities [in our possession]. Today we are able in the event that the enemy desires to threaten our vital interests, to equally, if not more ably threaten its vital interests. The enemy has seen this in informational and economic clashes.”

Image: Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Ali Akbar Velayati, and Gholam Haddad Adel via Etemaad