Key reformist says not aware of letter to Leader

February 10, 2017

TEHRAN – A senior reformist parliamentarian said on Friday he was not aware of a letter from reformists to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, which certain media outlets had reported about.

“I’m unaware of the issue,” said Mohammadreza Aref, Tehran's representative and head of the High Reformist Council for Policymaking.

Nothing has been officially revealed about the content of the letter, but upcoming elections must have been a running theme.

On whether they communicate with the Leader on a regular basis, Aref said “yes,” indirectly rejecting criticism that reformists were not in regular contacts with him to discuss different issues of mutual concern.

News went around that the consultations were being negatively influenced after the passing of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani on Jan. 8.

In the 2013 election, Rafsanjani, who was recognized as a moderate figure, backed the presidency of Hassan Rouhani.

“Naturally, our contacts with main currents of the establishment have been optimal,” Aref emphasized, adding, “Reformists have always had contacts with the Leader.”

Reformists have not explicitly expressed support for Rouhani in the upcoming elections, due to take place in May 2017, though their backing is anticipated.

“We have had serious talks about presidential elections, and hope to declare our election strategies in two weeks,” Aref was quoted as saying.

In addition to presidential elections, reformists are expected to strive for council seats, as well.


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