They've also criticized Rouhani for pandering to the West, signaling that a hardliner win would mean a shifting of diplomatic gears and a possible heightening of tensions with the worldwide community. Both Ghalibaf and Raisi clashed with Rouhani during last Friday's debate on the national television, exchanging personal jibes.
The withdrawal of Mr Rouhani's ally, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, from Friday's poll had been expected.
"I cannot predict what will be decided" regarding the sanctions waiver, but for Israel and the West, "what is important is what we can say about the emerging approach to Iran. and I believe that regardless of the waiver decision coming up, [US Secretary of State] Tillerson's April 19 statement is what is important to focus on", Landau said.
A Rouhani win would affirm and strengthen the nuclear deal, and it makes continued Iranian compliance more likely. In exchange for the International Atomic Energy Agency having more control over Iran's nuclear programme, Iran would keep a presence in the region, there would be a guarantee of security of the regime, and the U.S. would lift sanctions against it.
Trump and America have figured prominently in Iran's presidential election campaigning with hardliners on the Principilist wing of Iranian politics claiming the legacy of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who used to argue, "All our troubles are caused by this America".
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another Iranian cleric and moderate politician, was elected president of Iran by an overwhelming margin shortly thereafter and was in the office from 1989 to 1997. Both belong to Iran's conservative hard-liner political wing, and the last conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left office with a dubious achievement of 40 percent inflation at the end of his tenure.
This may only be to buy time for an economic recovery, followed by a dash to the bomb a few years later, but Rouhani staying in power at least puts off D-Day.
Rouhani told supporters on Monday he needed a stronger mandate to liberalize Iranian society.
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It is a smart campaign strategy for Rouhani to dangle further talks with the United States with the aim of lifting more sanctions in front of the Iranian public.
Rouhani billed the nuclear deal as one that would thrust open the gates of economic opportunity, bring the country out of its isolation and create millions of jobs for Iranians.
A bruised Rouhani may struggle to secure enough votes to avoid a second ballot, prompting some analysts to predict he might lose in a run-off against Ebrahim Raisi, a former prosecutor Khamenei has helped build up, appointing him previous year to oversee Iran's largest shrine and its charitable foundation.
ERDBRINK: I think it's very much in the Iranian establishment's interest to keep the nuclear deal in place.
However, other sanctions which were subsequently slapped on Iran by the USA - and a more hostile administration under Donald Trump - appear to have given conservatives more significance.
Ebrahim Raisi-Sadat, is a conservative cleric and current custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei. Over one thousand people initially registered as potential candidates, only to be disqualified by the Supreme Leader Khamenei.
Iran's hardline security and judicial powers, which operate separately to the presidency and are close to Iran's ultimate authority - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - have banned media from publishing Khatami's image or mentioning his name.
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