Could Iran’s next President be former TV Boss?

Mehdi Rahimi, a political editor of Mehr News Agency, one of the major Principlist media outlets, thinks there is a good chance of Zarghami becoming a candidate. Speaking to Al-Monitor, he said, “Although it is still a little too early to confirm anything, Mr. Zarghami has the potential to unify the entire Principlist movement.”

However, far from all agree with this assessment. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Principlist political activist and secretary-general of the Iran Green Party, Hossein Kanani Moghaddam, said, “More than being a political figure, Mr. Zarghami is a cultural and media figure and we cannot be sure whether he really is a Principlist. Although he is not connected to the radical movement known as the Endurance Front, there are still doubts about him being a Principlist.”

In this vein, Kanani Moghaddam said, “More importantly, it is possible that those who are bringing up his name are more interested in conducting a political maneuver than investing in a real potential [candidate]. In any case, the complex Principlist puzzle to find an alternative to Rouhani has yet to be solved and possible potential candidates include [Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher] Ghalibaf and [former nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili — both of whom were defeated by Rouhani [in the 2013 elections] — and new faces who are waiting for their turn as well as other already well-known political figures.”

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