Mohammad Reza Aref presidential campaign, 2013
Mohammad-Reza Aref (In Persian: محمدرضا عارف) served as the First Vice President of Iran, from 2001 to 2005 under Mohammad Khatami. Aref previously served as Minister of Technology in the first Khatami government. He is also a Sharif University of Technology professor. He announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election on 13 February 2013. On 11 June an announcement was made on his website that he is dropping out of the race.
Main article: Iranian presidential election, 2013
The eleventh election of the President of Iran is scheduled to be held on Friday, 14 June 2013. Registration for candidates took place from 7 May and concluded on 11 May 2013. After the registration step, registered candidates had to be vetted by the Guardian Council in order to be on the ballot. The Guardian Council finally announced the list containing the name of a reformist candidate, Aref.
As a reformist presidential candidate, Mohammad Reza Aref, criticized the foreign policy of the Ahmadinejad government, vowing to improve Iran’s diplomatic relationships with other countries if elected. In a meeting hold in Qazvin, Aref said:
Aref denounces interference of external forces such as military organizations into economical firms. In the first debate among candidates, he criticized the point and when the moderator asked about the main problem of economy of the country, Aref replied in an apparent indirect reference to the powerful Revolutionary Guard's extensive business interests: