Iran presidential candidate Jalili vows to stand up to West

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Iran presidential candidate Jalili vows to stand up to West

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Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, who is one of the favourites in the presidential race, has vowed to stand up to the West if he is elected next month.

Saeed Jalili told a rally in Tehran that he wanted to spread the global influence of Islam.

One of several conservatives among the eight candidates, he has said the president should be obedient to the Supreme Leader.

“We have said time and again that we want to expand the power of Islam in the world and diminish the influence of arrogant powers,” Jalili told supporters, citing what is seen as a reference to the US.

The conservatives dominate the election field. Jalili’s rally was attended by many hardliners.

Much of his support is believed to come from the paramilitary branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

“Dr Jalili has shown great resistance and he has succeeded in continuing negotiations based on the country’s principles. He’s never made any concessions, and Western powers got none during his tenure. I’m very proud of that,” said one supporter who gave his name as Mohammadi.

But the extent of support for Jalili and the other conservatives from the public at large is uncertain. The last election four years ago saw massive pro-reform street protests.

This time prominent reformists are under house arrest and two former presidents are banned from running.