Hardliner opts out of Iranian prez polls | world | Hindustan Times
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Hardliner opts out of Iranian prez polls

world Updated: Jun 11, 2013 02:21 IST

Reuters
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A conservative former parliament speaker dropped out of the June 14 Iranian presidential election on Monday in a move to consolidate the hardline vote and lessen the chances of an upset favouring a moderate candidate. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/6/11_06_pg17a.jpg

The 12-man Guardian Council, largely under the sway of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had already barred all but eight of the 686 people who registered as candidates, including pragmatic ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

That left four hardliners, separated only by small differences on issues such as Iran’s nuclear stand-off with the West, facing a lone independent outsider and two relative moderates who may be able to generate popular support.

Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a close adviser to Khamenei related to him by marriage, had been one of three so-called “Principlist” conservative candidates alongside Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati before announcing on Monday he was dropping out.