Khatami joins Iranian election campaign

Former president is popular leader of the reformist camp and a critic of Ahmadinejad [The Media Line].

Mohammad Khatami 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Mohammad Khatami 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Former Iranian president Sayyid Muhammad Khatami has announced his candidacy for the June presidential elections, the Iran-based Fars news agency reported. Khatami, who held the presidency from 1997 to 2005, is a popular leader in the reformist camp who has criticized incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many times during the latter's term. Despite Khatami's popularity and Ahmadinejad's economic policy failures, the battle for the office is far from over. The reformist camp in Iran is divided among a number of factions. One of them is led by former parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi, chairman of the Etemad-e-Meli (national confidence) party, who has also declared his bid for the presidency. Ahmadinejad himself is expected to soon declare his candidature for a second term. Meanwhile, Khatami has indirectly attacked the country's highly conservative clerical administration, which time and again sabotaged his reformist initiatives during his two terms in office. "I am in a very difficult position," Khatami said on Tuesday, according to Iran's Students News Agency (ISNA). "My nomination must aim to serve the people, but if there won't be a possibility to do so, then what's the point?" said the former president.