Hardliners Hope To Topple Rouhani in Tight Iran Election


TEHRAN — Inside a massive mosque Tuesday evening, more than 15,000 conservative Iranians chanted a mocking farewell to Iran’s reformist president.

“Bye bye, Rouhani,” roared the crowd. “At the end of the week, Rouhani is gone.”

Supporters of hardline candidate Ebrahim Raisi have rising hopes he will unseat incumbent President Hassan Rouhani in Friday’s election, now that Raisi’s chief conservative rival, Tehran mayor Mohammad Ghalibaf, has dropped out and thrown his support to Raisi.

At Tuesday’s rally for Raisi, the last before what is expected to be a tight election, the packed crowd erupted when Ghalibaf joined Raisi onstage and the two men clasped hands and held them high. Turnout was so heavy that the overflow could only watch the moment on a huge screen outside.




Image: Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi (C) greets his supporters as he stands with former presidential candidate and mayor of Tehran

Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi (C) greets his supporters as he stands with former presidential candidate and mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (C-R), during a campaign rally at Imam Khomeini Mosque in the capital Tehran on May 16, 2017.