4,600 Clerics Call on Khatami to Run for Second Term
About 4,600 Iranian clerics have called on President Mohammad Khatami to run for a second term in the presidential elections in June, reported the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) on Monday.
The agency said the clerics have signed a letter to Khatami, describing him the rightful and the ideologically-true issue of the founder of the Islamic Republic (Imam Khomeini), and calling on him to run for president in the June polls.
"During your tenure as president, we have witnessed that the youths have forged relations with theological schools and have been in close contact with clerics," the letter said, quoted by IRNA.
Khatami, who won in 1997 with almost 70 percent of the popular vote, has yet to announce whether he will stand for re-election, sparking widespread speculation he may decline the chance of a second term.
His supporters have pressed him to participate in the elections to push ahead with his ideals of establishing the rule of law and a civic society.
According to the agency, he has put the nation on tenterhook over his decision to participate or to not participate in the electoral race.
His opponents are charging that the pro-reform camp has kept Iranians in a state of suspense in order to gain more votes and that Khatami will announce his candidacy at the last minute.
An overwhelming majority of more than 220 legislators have sent a letter to President Khatami urging him to seek re-election in the June 8 polls, said the agency – Albawaba.com