In the words of Kanani Moghaddam, “Nategh-Nuri and Larijani have common views on domestic issues and foreign affairs, and they both follow the path of moderation regarding different matters. If Nategh-Nuri doesn’t run in the elections, he will surely support Larijani.”
Despite the various scenarios being entertained, the most likely one appears to be Nategh-Nuri’s further adjoining with the new “moderate” camp — with Rafsanjani’s help. This camp is composed of figures such as Rouhani, Larijani and Velayati, all of whom hold moderate views on domestic and foreign policy issues.
Indeed, word in Tehran is that Nategh-Nuri may even come to lead the “moderate” camp in the parliamentary polls, while simultaneously running for the concurrent Assembly of Experts election. The Assembly of Experts is tasked with monitoring the supreme leader’s performance and choosing the next supreme leader.
In an interview with Al-Monitor, Ayatollah Mohsen Gharavian, a Qom-based cleric, said, “I think it is necessary for Nategh-Nuri to run in the Assembly of Experts election. Ayatollah Rafsanjani likes for Nategh-Nuri to nominate himself for the vote.”
If Nategh-Nuri opts for this approach, the game for the Assembly of Experts would radically change as there would likely be a surge in the number of important moderate figures who would be seeking to enter this important clerical body. So far, Rafsanjani has stated his candidacy, while there is a high possibility of Rouhani and Seyed Hassan Khomeini nominating themselves, too.
In the words of Kanani Moghaddam, the conservative political analyst, “I think Nategh-Nuri will be an important pillar of the ‘moderation’ camp.”