Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

"Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?"

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Seleka calls for partition

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Khatami mulls throwing support behind another candidate

Latest update : 2009-06-10

Iranian news agencies have reported that Mohammad Khatami is considering retiring from the presidential contest in June to support another reformist candidate, the former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi.

AFP - Iran's ex-president Mohammad Khatami is considering withdrawing from the June presidential vote to support another reformist candidate, Iranian news agencies reported on Sunday.
  
The Mehr agency quoted a source close to Khatami as saying the former president during a meeting with members of his campaign had indicated he would withdraw.
  
It did not say when the official announcement was expected.
  
Fars reported that Khatami had decided to withdraw from the election race but gave no details.
  
A close aide of Khatami told AFP that there "was no decision yet."
  
"He is meeting Mir Hossein Mousavi later today and tomorrow he will meet other reformist leaders. After these meetings a decision will be taken," the aide said on condition of anonymity.
  
Mousavi is a reputed moderate and former prime minister of Iran who also plans to contest the June 12 vote.
  
Mehr reported that during the meeting with his campaign officials, Khatami had spoken out against what he said were attempts to dilute support for reformists.
  
"Opponents want to divide my supporters and supporters of Mousavi," Khatami was quoted as saying.
  
"It is not in our interest. Also some conservatives are supporting Mousavi. He (Mousavi) thinks that we have to change the situation. Mousavi is popular and will be able to execute his plans and I prefer he stays in the race."
  
Before announcing his candidacy on February 8, Khatami had frequently spoken in support of Mousavi and had indicated that either he or the former premier would contest the vote.
  
Former Iranian parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi is also planning to run in the election while incumbent hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is yet to officially announce his candidacy.
  
Khatami, 65, was president of Iran between 1997 and 2005.
  
In his previous presidential term, Khatami inspired the Iranian youth with promises of social and political reforms while Iran's relations with the West were less confrontational than they are now under Ahmadinejad.
  
When Khatami announced his candidacy, hopes were raised that these ties, now frosty over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, could begin to thaw.
  
Western nations accuse Tehran of seeking to make atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme. Iran says its atomic ambitions are entirely peaceful.
  
Mousavi was Iran's last prime minister between 1981 and 1989. Iran scrapped the post of premier when the constitution was revised in 1989.
  
Since then Mousavi has kept a low profile and rarely given interviews.
  
He is a member of the Expediency Council, the top political arbitration body, and heads Iran's Art Academy, which was established to safeguard the national heritage.
  
He also served as presidential advisor from 1989 to 2005.
  
Presidential candidates have to register officially with the interior ministry over a five day period starting May 5.

Date created : 2009-03-15

COMMENT(S)