Will Iran Have Reformist Vice President?


untitled The withdrawal of the only Reformist candidate, Mohammad Reza Aref, played a significant role in Hassan Rouhani’s victory in Iran’s presidential elections. Aref, who was vice president under Reformist Mohammad Khatami, withdrew in favor of Rouhani at the urging of Khatami, paving the way for a majority victory in the first round against conservative candidates who failed to unite. In his letter of congratulations to Rouhani, Khatami thanked Aref for playing a “prominent role” in Rouhani’s victory. The backing of Reformists such as Khatami, and also former president Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, were key factors in Rouhani’s victory. Many Reformists felt that by supporting Rouhani they could achieve some of their by goals, such as freedom for political prisoners and space to re-start political activities. Despite Aref not being a well known Reformist and most accurately labeled as moderate, some Reformists are hopeful that Rouhani will appoint Aref as vice president. Continue reading