TEHRAN — Former senior lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar says top political figure Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri will not run for president in the next year’s election.
“We tried to get him involved, but he decisively says he doesn’t feel obligated to do so,” Bahonar said in an interview with Mehr published on Tuesday.
“He is involved in his seminary and has no resolve to enter political activities. That’s why he is not willing to play a role in the political sphere, neither as a candidate nor as a political actor,” he added.
Nategh-Nouri was a candidate in the presidential election in 1997, but he lost the election to Mohammad Khatami.
Nategh-Nouri was parliament speaker in the fifth parliament from 1996-2000. While he was speaker, Hassan Rouhani, the current president, was his deputy.
Asked whether the principlists are favored to win the election, Bahonar, who himself is a principlist, said nothing is certain about Iran’s elections until the last moments. He then pointed to the last-minute victory of the past three presidents, namely Mohammad Khatami, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Rouhani, as examples proving his point.