Khatami quits Iranian presidential race

March 17th, 2009 - 5:02 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, March 17 (DPA) Iranian former president Mohammad Khatami quit the presidential race Monday night to support former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi in the June 12 election.

The two candidates had similar platforms, and observers believed they could split the moderate vote to the advantage of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose ultra-conservative faction has named him as its sole candidate.

In a statement carried by his website Yaari News, Khatami said he withdrew his candidacy “as a moral obligation for avoiding a split in the votes.”

Khatami, who made the decision after a meeting with the reformist clergy body MRM on Monday night in Tehran, reiterated in the statement his support for Moussavi.

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