Iranian Candidate Quits to Boost Reformist Chances

Mohammad Reza Aref's decision to withdraw from the race is seen as a move to support centrist Hasan Rowhani, whose campaign has gained momentum in recent days.

Iran's state TV is reporting that a pro-reform candidate has withdrawn from the June 14 presidential election.

The Tuesday report did not elaborate on the reason that Mohammad Reza Aref withdrew. But Aref's website said he made the decision at the urging of reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami.

The move is seen as a move to support centrist Hasan Rowhani, whose campaign has gained momentum in recent days.

On Monday, a hardline candidate withdrew to not split the vote between conservatives.The two decisions leave six candidates running in Friday's election.

Under the Iranian system, if no candidate gets a majority in the first round, then the top two have a run-off.

The election will choose a successor for outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadineajd who under the law cannot run for another term.