Iran’s nuclear negotiator Jalili faces two presidential challengers
The outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s kinsman and close aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani registered Saturday as candidates for president in the June 14 election. They followed Saeed Jalili, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, hardline conservative and head of the Supreme National Security Council. Jalilee is the favorite of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who detests the other two contenders and will not pull punches for disrupting their candidacies.
DEBKAfile: Jalili’s election as president would perpetuate Tehran's tactics for blocking a diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear controversy with the world powers.