President Mohammad Khatami said Wednesday for the first time that he will run for a second four-year term in the 2001 presidential election, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"I will participate in the campaign and will present my views," Khatami said during a meeting with university and research center heads here. "Afterwards I will submit myself to the vote of the people."
Khatami was elected to office on May 23rd, 1997 with 20 million votes, or 69 percent of the total, and his term expires next May.
The Iranian constitution permits a president to serve no more than two consecutive terms of office.
The reformist president's announcement contradicts rumors that have been circulating among political circles recently, to the effect that he would not run for re-election because of strong pressure from conservative elements of the regime.
Khatami's brother Mohammad-Reza, deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament and leader of the majority Participation Front, said on Tuesday that he expected the president would run for re-election – TEHRAN (AFP)
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