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Pro-Reform Candidate Seeks Iranian Presidency

Incumbent Iranian President Khatami (file photo) 29 December 2004 -- Former Science, Research, and Technology Minister Mostafa Moin has become the first pro-reform candidate to apply to enter the race for the Iranian presidency.

The official IRNA news agency reported Moin's move late yesterday, saying the former pediatrician wants to participate in the election expected in May or June.

President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami cannot run for a third four-year term under the country's constitution.

Moin resigned from his ministerial post in Khatami's government in late July to protest mass arrests of students.

It is still unclear whether the hard-line constitutional watchdog, the Guardians Council, will allow Moin to run for the office. The council disqualified thousands of reformist candidates hoping to compete in parliamentary elections in January 2004.

Former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai are among conservatives who have entered the race for the presidency.