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Khatami will soon withdraw candidacy in favor of Mousavi: source

03/15/09 Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Former president Mohammad Khatami will soon withdraw his presidential candidacy in favor of former prime minister Mir-Hosein Mousavi, according to an informed source close to Khatami.

Khatami and Mousavi had a meeting in Tehran on Sunday which can determine how he is going to drop out of the race, the source, who requested anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

Before Mousavi officially announced his candidacy on March 10, Khatami had said he would drop out of the race if Mousavi made up his mind to take up the challenge.

Former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi announced his candidacy recently.

According to the source, Khatami has said the main reason behind his withdrawal is that some presidential foes intend to create division among his supporters and those of Mousavi.

"With the fact that some principlist (conservative) figures would also support Mousavi and that he (Mousavi) believes the most important issue is now changing strategies and conducts... I prefer that Mousavi, who is a popular figure and can better advance plans, stay in the race," the source quoted Khatami as saying.

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