Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami on Monday withdrew his candidacy from the country's June presidential election, a close ally told Reuters. "He has decided to withdraw ... but he will back another moderate candidate who will be announced shortly in a statement by Khatami," the ally said.
Khatami served from 1997 to 2005.
According to Tehran Times, Khatami will back former prime minister Mir-Hosein Mousavi. Khatami and Mousavi had a meeting in Tehran on Sunday which can determine how he is going to drop out of the race, sources told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday.
Before Mousavi officially announced his candidacy on March 10, Khatami had said he would drop out of the race if Mousavi made up his mind to take up the challenge. According to the source, Khatami has said the main reason behind his withdrawal is that some presidential foes intend to create division among his supporters and those of Mousavi.