TEHRAN – Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri withdrew on Tuesday from the presidential race and pledged his support for the current president, who is seeking a second term in Friday’s vote.
During a rally in the southern city of Shiraz, Jahangiri maintained that Hassan Rouhani is “the man who wants peace, security and progress for all the people of Iran,” according to official media.
Jahangiri’s resignation did not come as a surprise as it was clear from the start of the presidential campaign that his role was to support the president and to defend his government’s achievements in debates and election rallies.
“I have completed my duty and, together with you, I will vote for Rouhani to help continue on the path to progress for this country,” he declared.
On Monday, the mayor of Tehran, Mohamad Baqer Qalibaf, also announced that he was pulling out of next Friday’s presidential elections, while expressing his support for another conservative candidate, cleric Ebrahim Raisi.
In a statement posted on social media, days before the voting on Friday, Qalibaf asked his supporters around the country to use all their influence to help Raisi, an Iranian cleric, win the election.
The presidential elections on May 19 are presented as a duel between Raisi and Rouhani, as the other two candidates who are still in the running have a lower profile, and one of them has asked the Iranian people to vote for the president.