By: Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor Posted on May 12.
It's a very rare moment in Iran. Once again, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad changes the equation even though he, personally, isn't part of it. Both the "reformists" and the "principalists" have a single objective in this election: defeating Ahmadinejad's candidate, Esfendyar Rahim Mashaei, or whoever makes it to the final list of candidates.
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It is no longer a fight about reforms or principles; today the main objective is putting an end to Ahmadinejad's popular current, which threatens their political presence.
The man of all seasons — one of few popular elders of the revolution — former President Hashemi Rafsanjani emerged as a last-minute candidate. For years Rafsanjani suffered under Ahmadinejad's rule. Some even suggest it was Ahmadinejad's war on Rafsanjani that first intimidated supreme leader Ayotallah Ali Khamenei back in 2009 during the presidential campaign. The war continued, and the fiercer it got, the stronger the ties between Rafsanjani and the Leader's house became.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/iranian-elections-rafsanjani-president.html#ixzz2T7uKbTNE