Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Conservative candidate drops out of Iran's presidential election, backs hard-liner

Conservative candidate drops out of Iran's presidential election, backs hard-liner

A conservative candidate dropped out of Iran's presidential election on Monday to back a hard-liner, state television reported, narrowing the field of those hoping to unseat moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

The report said Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf made the decision to boost the chances of hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, believed to be close to the theocracy’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"I ask all my supporters to contribute their full capacity and support for the success of my brother, Ebrahim Raisi," Qalibaf said in a statement announcing his withdrawal, according to the state TV.

Qalibaf's decision brings the number of candidates...

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