The decision by the reformist candidate Mohammadreza Aref to withdraw his candidacy - and in effect open the path for the centrist Hassan Rowhani to become the unified candidate of both the centrists and reformists - is an important development in Iranian politics.
For Washington, obsessed with matters Iranian, it may be hard to accept a simple fact: Iran’s Jun. 14 presidential election is an Iranian event. If we attempt to make it about us, we will find ourselves on the same road that has previously led to multiple failures: Iran-contra; “goodwill begets goodwill”; and a non-existent two-track policy.
With the disqualification of former president and current chair of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani by a vetting body, the Guardian Council, Iran's presidential campaign is opening with many in the country in a state of shock.
The last-minute entry of former president and current chair of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani into the presidential polls set for Jun. 14 has inspired vastly different reactions in a conflicted Iran.
As the five-day registration period for presidential candidates began here Tuesday, the question of whether Iran’s upcoming election will represent the will of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or the people of Iran is uppermost on many people’s minds, including those of the potential candidates.