It seems that former president, Mohammad Khatami, has not completely ruled out running for another term. Last week, a spokesman for the reformist leader told reporters that Khatami had "no plans" to run in 2009. This week, a different associate claimed Khatami is actually open to the idea. Khatami will run if the "people want" him to run; but so far, he's not feeling it.
Is Khatami not receiving enough support from reformists this time around? Perhaps. However, I read these statements as gestures to Khatami's colleagues. Khatami only seems interested in running if he receives the endorsements and support of other key reformist leaders, particularly Mehdi Karrubi. Karrubi hasn't publicly called for Khatami to run, but has hinted at running himself. Khatami is likely pushing to be a unity candidate for his faction and is thus not interested in competing against other reformists in 2009.
Of course, there is also a question of whether or not Khatami would even be cleared by the Guardian Council to be able to make a run in 2009. This alone may keep Khatami from committing to another election.
Iranian Reformist Cleric Says Former President Khatami May Stand in Elections
Iranian Labor News Agency
Friday, August 22, 2008 T11:40:20Z
, 22 August: Ayatollah Seyyed Jallaleddin Taheri-Esfahani has said: In my meeting with Mr Khatami (former president), I asked him whether he would run in the next presidential elections. Khatami said: If people want me to, I have no problem with running for president. However, I have not yet felt that the people want me to come forward. Tehran
According to ILNA, Taheri-Esfahani, the former leader's representative to
Esfahan, made the remarks in a meeting with the students and youth of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) from across the country. He said: I hope that the people's and my request from Khatami to stand in the election will be effective.
EsfahanFriday prayer leader referred to the 10th presidential elections, saying: I urge Khatami to come forward and we will all vote for him. Referring to the current system of running the country, he said: We can all see that the Khatami administration was very different from the current government and everyone knows that the situation of the country was better during the presidency of Khatami. Khatami avoided certain practices during his term and we can see those practices these days.
He added: I, like you young people, will vote for Khatami. I simply hope that our requests from Khatami will be effective enough and that he will stand in the elections.
Ayatollah Taheri concluded: I urge Mr Khatami to come back and we will all vote for him.