Principlist presidential candidate Sa’eed Jalili has dropped out of the June 18 presidential election, urging his supporters and those who have faith in the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to vote for fellow contender Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.
In a statement released on Wednesday evening, hours before the end of campaigning, Jalili announced he was resigning from the July 19 presidential election, becoming the third candidate to quit the race and the second to drop out in support of Raeisi.
Earlier in the day, Reformist candidate Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh and Principlist Alireza Zakani dropped out.
Mehr-Alizadeh has so far offered no explanation about his decision, but Zakani cited Raeisi’s large support among the public behind his move.
“At the dawn of the new solar century, dear Iran is about to make a big choice,” Jalili said in his statement. “Over the past eight years, a disregard of national capabilities and keeping the country’s capacities waiting have brought nothing but more sanctions, inflation, rare unemployment among the youth and unprecedented crises in the stock market and the housing sector.”
Jalili said the Islamic Revolution is in need of a “civilizational uprising” to overcome the obstacles it is facing at home and abroad, and now that the Revolution is
taking a step forward, the country requires “faith, determination, and an agenda” to make the country “take a great leap forward in the next four years to come.”
Now that a large section of the society has embraced Raeisi, it is worthwhile for those who have faith in the Revolution front to throw their weight behind the senior cleric through their votes based on the necessities outlined in the “Second Step of the Islamic Revolution,” referring to the statement issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in 2019 in an address to the country’s young generation.
“Today is the day for great Jahad (arduous efforts): In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”
The drop out followed a statement signed by 210 Iranian lawmakers earlier in the day calling on the “candidates of the Revolution current” to leave the election scene in support of Raeisi, citing the “growing popular inclination” toward the senior cleric, who currently serves as Iran’s Judiciary chief.
Jalili served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013. In that capacity, he served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in talks with major world states on the country’s nuclear program.
He has been a fierce critic of the Rouhani administration for treading some “wrong” and “costly” paths, which he believes only brought about more pressure on people, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran spent time negotiating with six major world states, only for the US to unilaterally withdraw and re-impose tough sanctions on the country.