Vice president and presidential contender, Es'haq Jahangiri, announced on Tuesday he has dropped out in favor of incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, urging his backers to turn out in large numbers to give Rouhani a stronger mandate to press ahead with his plans to bolster the economy and promote social freedoms.
Jahangiri, who had registered as a candidate in the presidential election to reinforce the president's chances of reelection, had been actively involved in the campaign to defend the government's track record and outline its future plans, Tasnim News Agency reported
Speaking in a television talk show on Monday night, he called on Rouhani's rivals to offer practical and realistic plans for combating unemployment instead of resorting to rhetoric.
He said the rivals have spoken a lot about creating jobs, but have failed to present any practical schemes to back it up.
Highlighting the current administration's success in formulating a detailed plan to create jobs, Jahangiri said if the requirements are fulfilled, the goal of creating 950,000 jobs per annum in compliance with the country's major development plans will be met.
The vice president mentioned investment security, support for domestic production, combating smuggling and stimulating exports as the main requirements of job creation.
Touching on the administration's success to create 110,000 jobs only through knowledge-based companies, Jahangiri said the number of such technological firms could increase to 10,000 in the next administration from the 3,000 ones founded over the past four years.
He noted that the administration has managed to halve the value of smuggled goods and reduce it to $12 billion a year, and has also established suitable systems at customs.
There are currently four candidates running for presidency, including Rouhani, Ebrahim Raeisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba and Mostafa Mirsalim.
Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a figure in the principlist political faction who struggled to drum up support for his presidential campaign by hammering Rouhani, decided to quit the race on Monday in favor of Raeisi.
The election will be held on Friday, May 19, in which over 56,400,000 are eligible to vote.